Well Being Trust’s Tyler Norris joins leaders from Providence St. Joseph Health in offering 7 standards of excellence in community health investments in this week’s American Hospital Association blog. These 7 standards can guide health care systems in the role they can play in effective community-based approaches to caring for populations:
Equitable community development: An equity-centric approach helps you acknowledge the profound drivers of race/ethnicity, socioeconomics and language; the need for strong multi-sector partnerships; and identify approaches that connect national and local organizations with shared missions.
Data-driven decisions and investments: Community Health Needs Assessments can guide health systems in their efforts. Well Being in the Nation WIN Measures are valuable tools for quantitative assessment and remind leaders of the indispensable, ongoing process of listening to and engaging the diverse people, assets and gifts within communities.
Health care anchor role: Community benefit expenditures are just one way health systems can invest in the health and well-being of communities, but purchasing and hiring locally, catalyzing capital and investment assets, using investment portfolios responsibly and proactively, and aligning an organization’s strategic investments with those of other institutions can potentially have an even greater impact on community health.
Integrated whole-person care: Working with community partners, health care systems can integrate efforts to improve housing, food security and income, as well as access to legal and financial services, and a fully integrated approach to mental and behavioral health and well-being alongside physical health.
Dose sufficiency: Enduring change requires sufficient focus, reach, intensity and duration to deliver sustained improvement, especially when grant cycles end and priorities shift.
Accountability for community-level outcomes: Governing boards of health care systems should be able to review community health dashboards that incorporate meaningful metrics based on national standards and tailored to local priorities.
Multi-solver solutions: Multiple stakeholders, perspectives and skillsets working in creative collaborations will be required to concurrently renew economic life, community life and human well-being.