Case Study: Needs Assessment

The organisation was established to respond to the local needs of their community through health care planning and to drive improved access to quality primary care services for the community.

Business Aspect was engaged to write both an after-hours care and whole-of-region needs assessment within a very tight timeframe. The project involved analysis of significant bodies of qualitative and quantitative data obtained through multiple sources to understand the characteristics and health needs of the population; identify existing health care services; identify gaps and opportunities; and prioritise activities for implementation. Data sources included demographic data; data from specific health services (emergency, ambulance, tele-triage service); information on the location and opening hours of general practices and pharmacies in the region and information obtained through a range of focus groups, interviews and community based consultations.

Information compiled from these analyses were presented to a Working Group, Advisory Group and the Board of the organisation to identify and prioritise key gaps and develop design principles upon which implementation solutions will be based to address the gaps. A report was developed that combined a general assessment of health service need for the region and identified specific needs relating to after-hours services, together with plans to address the identified needs and issues.

Future assessments of health service need and planning conducted by the organisation will build on the foundation work developed as part of this project. A workshop was conducted to transfer population health planning skills to staff within the organisation to support their ongoing work agenda.