Communityhealth improvement efforts for a community nurse are influence bymany factors. These factors are outlined in the “tools forsuccessful CHI effort” and are based on community involvement. Thefirst tenet of a community health improvement program is striving towork together. Collaborating with all stakeholders including“hospitals, health department, community action agencies andcommunity health centers” will have better result compared toworking separately. Collaboration will be supported by common vision,shared ownership and accountability and multi-sector collaboration.The second tenet is community engagement. This is essential inensuring that identifying health priorities and needs in thecommunity as well as the greatest opportunity for mutual benefit. Community involvement is depended on engaging diverse stakeholders inthe community as well as representatives of broad communityinterests, especially underserved populations (CDC,2015).
Openand continuous communication between all stakeholders involved in thecommunity health improvement programs is another important aspect.This ensures that the efforts remain relevant to the community needsand the desired outcomes. Establishing an ongoing communicationprocess and sharing of results from each phase will secure supportfrom the community and other stakeholders. The aim of the programshould be improvement of health outcomes in the long run. This,establishing foundations that ensure that the improvement results aresustainable in the long run is critical. This includes maintainingsupport and resources, providing the backbone infrastructures andtargeting policy and environmental solutions that promotessustainability (CDC,2015).
Oncethese tenets have been fulfilled, CDS identifies fives essentialsteps that are necessary in the implementation of a community healthimprovement program. Similarly, each of the steps should havecommunity input. The first step is to assess the need and resourcesthat have an implication on the program. This will requirecollaboration with all stakeholders and the community. The secondstep is prioritizing the health care needs. The priority should bebased on the need and resources assessment which identifies the mostimportant needs and opportunities that maximize health outcomes withthe available resources. This is followed by choosing appropriatepolicies and program that will support the CHI efforts. Factors thatneed to be considered in selection policies and programs include“socioeconomicfactors, the physical environment, health behaviors, and clinicalcare to maximize your impact”. This is followed by working withpartners to initiate and coordinate activities, while monitoringtheir effectiveness. The last step is an evaluation of the impacts ofthe CHI efforts based on the goals. In every step, it is necessaryfor the CHI to involve the community (CDC, 2015).
Culturerefers to shared values, believes and behaviors in a particularcommunity. Culture is not static, because it is influenced by manyfactors, most importantly the interaction between the community andother communities. Culture has huge impacts on health because itaffects the perception of the community about health, diseases andtheir causes, health care services and the types of health careinterventions preferred by a patient. Cultural factors influence bothhealth care professionals and their patients approach to health care.Thus, the ability of a nurse to demonstrate awareness of thecommunity culture impacts in trust and thus health care outcomes. Oneof the principle national CLAS standards in health care is to“establishculturally and linguistically appropriate goals, policies, andmanagement accountability, and infuse them throughout theorganization`s planning and operations”. This is critical becauseof the important influence of culture on health outcomes. Goals andpolicies that are not appropriate to the cultural values of thetargeted community will have negative outcomes. This standard isdependent on the collaboration and involvement of the community andother stakeholders in order to develop a culturally appropriatehealth care program (Officeof Minority Health, Department of Health and Human Services, 2013).
Centersfor Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). CommunityHealth Improvement Navigator: Tools for successful CHI efforts.Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/chinav/tools/index.html
Officeof Minority Health, Department of Health and Human Services. (2013).Nationalstandards for culturally and linguistically appropriate services inhealth and health care: a blueprint for advancing and sustaining CLASpolicy and practice.Retrieved fromhttps://www.thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov/Content/clas.asp