Assessment – act of gathering existing data

Measurement – tracking progress over time

Assessment notes all data, both subjective and objective, and sets the stage for planning an intervention.  Periodic evaluation demonstrates whether the objectives have been met or if any changes or improvements have occurred in the data.

Conducting a needs assessment is an important first step in developing and implementing a plan to embed educational programming into your health care setting.  By engaging community stakeholders and identifying areas of strength and need in your community, you can ensure efficient and effective program planning and implementation.  There are a variety of approaches to conducting a needs assessment, but the basic steps include:

  1. Define the scope, goals, and priorties of the assessment
  2. Engage stakeholders
  3. Gather information
  4. Determine key findings (identify gaps between needs and assests)
  5. Set priorities for action and make a plan
  6. Communicate your findings

This module will provide you with tools and resources that will help you conduct an effective needs assessment as an early step in your process to embed education into the healthcare setting.