About Assessment and Planning - Minnesota Dept. of Health

About Assessment and Planning

Assessment and Planning Phases
Submitting 2015-2019 Deliverables
How Do These Plans Fit Together?

All Minnesota community health boards are required to participate in Assessment and Planning, to determine local public health priorities and focus local resources on the greatest community and agency needs.

The phases and deliverables below were developed through a state-local partnership process, and are based on recommendations from the State Community Health Services Advisory Committee (SCHSAC). The assessment and planning process allows community health boards to meet state statutory requirements, and aligns with Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) national public health standards.

Community health boards will submit five deliverables for the 2015-2019 Assessment and Planning cycle in 2020. Community health boards submitted a slightly different set of five deliverables (three standards most in need of improvement, strategic plan, quality improvement plan, 10 priority health issues, community health improvement plan) for the 2010-2014 Assessment and Planning cycle in 2015.

MDH has designed all Assessment and Planning guidance to help community health boards meet national public health standards developed by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB).

Assessment and Planning Phases

Assess

The Assessment and Planning cycle starts with two assessments:

Organizational Assessment: The organizational assessment is a self-study of the community health board’s ability to meet the national public health standards. It determines the community health board’s strengths and areas for improvement. Community health boards do not need to submit this to MDH.

Community Health Assessment: A community health assessment identifies and describes factors that affect the health of a community, and the factors that determine available resources to address those factors. A community health board, or another lead organization, collects, analyzes, and begins to use data to prioritize issues and make decisions. Community health boards do not need to submit this to MDH.

Prioritize

The assessments above allow a community health board to prioritize the most important issues facing the agency and the community. Each set of priorities, compiled across the state, give a snapshot of the state’s needs as a whole, as well as regional comparisons across the entire public health system.

Standards Most in Need of Improvement: After completing the organizational assessment, a community health board prioritizes the three national public health standards most in need of improvement within its organization. The community health board may use these priorities internally to inform strategic planning and other improvement efforts. Community health boards do not need to submit this to MDH.

DeliverablePriority Health Issues: After completing the community health assessment, the community health improvement planning team prioritizes up to 10 health issues it (and other community partners) can address during the planning process. Community health boards will report these priority health issues to MDH as a deliverable in spring 2020.

Plan

The community health improvement plan and strategic plans guide the community health board’s work. The community health board can use these plans to advocate for resources, work toward measurable results, and demonstrate efficiency and accountability. National public health accreditation standards state these plans should relate and connect to each other.

DeliverableStrategic Plan: The strategic plan defines a community health board’s roles, priorities, and direction over three to five years. It determines what the agency plans to achieve, how the agency will achieve it, and how the agency will know what has been achieved. It guides decision-making on allocating resources and pursuing strategies and priorities. The community health board’s strategic plan focuses on the entire community health board. Community health boards will send their strategic plans to MDH as a deliverable in spring 2020. Boards/departments accredited by December 31, 2019 are not required to submit their strategic plans.

DeliverableCommunity Health Improvement Plan: A community health improvement plan is a long-term, systematic effort to address public health problems in a community. It is based on the results of community health assessment activities, and is one step in a process to improve community health. The community health improvement plan is developed collaboratively, and defines a vision for the community’s health. Community health boards will send their community health improvement plans to MDH as a deliverable in spring 2020. Boards/departments accredited by December 31, 2019 are not required to submit their community health improvement plans.

Monitor/Revise

Community health boards use the plans above to monitor progress toward goals, and modify or revise the plans as needed. Community health boards also report progress within the agency, to community health advisory committees, to county boards, to community partners, and to the public.

DeliverableDescription of How You Monitor and Revise your Strategic Plan: A strategic plan is a living document that a community health board routinely reviews, monitors, and updates based on progress, changing needs, and priorities. Community health boards can use performance management to monitor and revise the strategic plan over the course of the five-year Assessment and Planning cycle. Community health boards will send their description of how they plan to monitor and revise the strategic plan in the 2020 - 2024 cycle to MDH as a deliverable in spring 2020.

DeliverableDescription of How You Monitor and Revise your CHIP: A community health improvement plan is a living document that a community health board routinely reviews, monitors, and updates based on progress, changing needs, and priorities. Community health boards can use performance management to monitor and revise the community health improvement plan over the course of the five-year Assessment and Planning cycle. Community health boards will send their description of how they plan to monitor and revise the community health improvement plan in the 2020 – 2024 cycle to MDH as a deliverable in spring 2020. The 2016 and 2017 Performance-Related Accountability Measure also includes sending a CHIP Annual Report to MDH.

Submitting 2015-2019 Deliverables

Community health boards may submit their deliverables at any point during the 2015-2019 Assessment and Planning cycle. Deliverables are ultimately due to MDH during the first quarter of 2020.

DeliverableGreen icons throughout this guidance notes information about deliverables and submission.

The following five documents are the 2015-2019 Assessment and Planning deliverables:

  1. Strategic Plan
  2. Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)
  3. Priority Health Issues: Up to 10 priority health issues identified by the community health assessment
  4. Description of How You Monitor and Revise your Strategic Plan: A description of how the community health board will monitor and revise the strategic plan over the next five years using performance management
  5. Description of How You Monitor and Revise your CHIP: A description of how the community health board will monitor and revise the community health improvement plan over the next five years using performance management

Community health boards accredited on or before December 31, 2019 are not required to submit a strategic plan or community health improvement plan.

MDH will release more detailed information on how to submit deliverables in January 2019. Community health boards interested in submitting any deliverable(s) prior to January 2019 may contact the MDH Center for Public Health Practice by phone (651-201-3880) or email (health.ophp@state.mn.us).

2010-2014 Deliverables

MDH has shared community health improvement plans from the 2010-2014 Assessment and Planning cycle online, which can be sorted by region or priority health issue: 2010-2014 Assessment and Planning Cycle.

How Do These Plans Fit Together?

National public health accreditation standards state that the strategic plan, quality improvement plan, and community health improvement plan should relate and connect to each other.

Strategic Plan & Quality Improvement Plan

The community health board’s policies and strategic direction—found in its mission and vision, strategic plan, and community health improvement plan—guide the QI plan.

  • Different assessments guide the strategic planning process, including the organizational assessment, as does customer satisfaction data. In a way, the strategic plan provides a high-level view of the community health board’s efforts to improve its work, which is further explored in the QI plan.
  • The strategic planning process can also identify strategic goals that could guide the QI plan, such as developing a culture of quality improvement, or providing QI training for all staff, for example.

Strategic Plan & Community Health Improvement Plan

The strategic plan lays the internal groundwork for the external implementation of the community health improvement plan.

  • Strategic plans reflect the internal work a community health board needs to accomplish to position itself to meet external stakeholders’ needs (like the goals ultimately found in the community health improvement plan).
  • The community health improvement plan clearly outlines the community health board’s role in achieving these priorities, and reflects the agency’s capacity as outlined in the strategic plan.
  • When drafting the strategic plan, consider reviewing the agency’s community health improvement plan from the previous Assessment and Planning cycle.

Quality Improvement Plan & Community Health Improvement Plan

The QI plan and the community health improvement plan inform and influence each other’s roles, responsibilities, and goals. For example:

  • As an agency recruits and retains partners to develop and implement a community health improvement plan, it may write into the QI plan ways to make that recruitment/retention process more effective and robust.
  • If an action plan is carried out without reaching the desired outcome, a partnership may write a QI plan to address the steps needed to better reach the outcome.

What Does PHAB Say?

The Public Health Accreditation Board states the following in Standards and Measures v1.5:

  • [The strategic plan must include] linkages with the [community] health improvement plan and the health department’s quality improvement plan. The strategic plan need not link to all elements of the health improvement plan or quality improvement plan, but it must show where linkages are appropriate for effective planning and implementation (Measure 5.2.3).
  • [The quality improvement] plan is guided by the health department’s policies and strategic direction found in its mission and vision statements, in its strategic plan, and in its health improvement plan (Measure 9.2.1).
  • [The community health improvement plan] describes how the health department and the community it serves will work together to improve the health of the population of the jurisdiction that the health department serves (Standard 5.2).

Example: Plans Working Together & Community Partnerships

A strategic plan can outline the actions a community health board takes to prepare staff to work with external, community stakeholders. The plan might include performance measures related to building community relationships, ways to help foster an organizational culture that allows staff to spend time in the community, and goals for recruiting and retaining staff who reflect the community served.

The strategic plan can also include work with community partners not noted in the community health improvement plan. The community health improvement plan describes the agency’s community partnerships related to priority health issues, and how the agency and community partners share work to reach the plan’s goals.