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What is a Needs Assessment?. An introduction. By Jacob Coverstone. Jcoverstone@aao.org I have no financial interest to disclose. Objectives. Attendees will be able to: Define Needs Assessment Create and utilize an outline for conducting a Needs Assessment

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what is a needs assessment

What is a Needs Assessment?

An introduction

By Jacob Coverstone

Jcoverstone@aao.org

I have no financial interest to disclose.

objectives
Objectives

Attendees will be able to:

  • Define Needs Assessment
  • Create and utilize an outline for conducting a Needs Assessment
  • Understand types of identified needs
    • Normative
    • Relative
    • Expressed
    • Perceived
when do you conduct a needs assessment
When do you conduct a Needs Assessment?
  • A Needs Assessment takes place before the activity is designed.
why do you conduct a needs assessment
Why do you conduct a Needs Assessment?
  • The purpose of a Needs Assessment is to make decisions regarding priorities for the program.
  • If you conduct a proper Needs Assessment, you will address or support 9 of the 22 Updated Criteria and 3 of 7 Essential Elements [C2, C3, C4, C6, C16, C18, C19, C21, C22, E2.1, E2.2, E2.3]
needs assessments are about evidence
Needs Assessments are about Evidence
  • Can you answer:
    • “what evidence do we have that our audience needs this education?”
    • “what evidence do we have that our solution will yield positive results?”
    • “what is the reason that we are offering education in this format?”
it depends on what the meaning of the word is is former president bill clinton
“It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is” –Former President Bill Clinton
  • Definitions 1:
    • Gap
    • Need
    • Want
    • Assessment
    • Needs Assessment
definitions 1
Definitions 1
  • Gaps
    • The space between what currently exists and what should exist.
  • Needs are contributing factors
    • What needs to be resolved to help close a gap.
    • Needs often relate to barriers
  • Wants are possible solutions
    • A proposed means to filling the gap.
  • Assessment is the evaluation of needs, barriers and resources.
definitions 1 continued
Definitions 1, continued.
  • Needs Assessment is the process of identifying and measuring areas for improvement in a target audience, and determining the methods to achieve improvement.

So important, it has its own slide.

what goes into a needs assessment
What goes into a Needs Assessment?
  • Normative data
  • Evaluations
  • Objectives
  • Opinion
  • Timelines
  • Barriers
  • Resources

“What does it take to get your activity off the ground?”

so what is a needs assessment
So… what is a Needs Assessment?

Pre-Assessment

Needs Assessment

Assessment

Action Plan

phases of a needs assessment
Phases of a Needs Assessment
  • Pre-Assessment
    • Data collection. “What do we know?”
      • This is the foundation of Gap Analysis
        • What is the current state?
        • Where should we be?
        • How does our region compare to others?
        • What’s new?
        • What’s important?
phases of a needs assessment1
Phases of a Needs Assessment
  • Assessment
        • Evaluation of the data
          • What are our barriers?
          • Both internal and external
          • What Needs have we identified?
          • Are some gaps bigger than others?
          • Consider both scope and severity
          • What are our priorities?
          • Do we have the resources to address them?
          • Why do anything at all?
phases of a needs assessment2
Phases of a Needs Assessment
  • Action Plan
        • How are we going to translate what we have into what they need?
          • Which Needs can we address?
          • How are we overcoming barriers?
          • List additional barriers hindering progress
          • Have any areas been identified for follow-up or future opportunities for educational intervention?
gathering data
Gathering Data
  • Search for objective measures:
    • Scope: How many, or what percent, of patients are exposed/vulnerable/expected to suffer from…
    • Severity: What are the consequences?
      • Discomfort? Pain? Blindness?
    • Are there national standards for treatment?
      • Can we do better?
assessment an example
Assessment, an example:

“It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses.”

- Elwood Blues, The Blues Brothers

it s not what you know it s how you know it
It's not what you know, it's how you know it.
  • Needs (gaps) are identified in 4 ways:
    • Types of Need
      • Normative
      • Relative
      • Expressed
      • Perceived
types of need
Types of Need
  • Normative
    • Defined as falling below a standard criterion established by custom, authority, or general consensus.
    • Strength:
      • Allows planners to use objective targets
    • Weakness:
      • Need levels change with time and must be re-evaluated
types of need cont
Types of Need, cont.
  • Relative
    • Measured by the gap between the level of service between similar communities
    • Strength:
      • Can lead to a priority for distribution of limited resources
    • Weakness:
      • Limits resource allocation to under-performing areas
types of need cont1
Types of Need, cont.
  • Expressed
    • Defined in terms of the number of people who actually have sought help
    • Strength:
      • Focuses on situations where people have taken action
      • Helps to determine barriers
    • Weakness:
      • Not all people with Needs seek help
      • Loss of the bigger picture
      • Misses latent Needs
types of need cont2
Types of Need, cont.
  • Perceived
    • Defined in terms of what people think their needs are or feel their needs to be
    • Strength:
      • Easy to come by
    • Weakness:
      • Subjective
      • Subject to the Dunning-Kruger effect
problems must be translated into needs
Problems must be translated into Needs
  • Strive to answer all 4 types of Need.
    • Each type of need paints a different picture of the gap.
needs are translated into objectives
Needs are translated into Objectives
  • But that’s another talk…
remember
Remember
  • Want and Need are not synonyms.
  • A Needs Assessment is conducted before the activity is planned.
  • Pre-Assessment is not enough.
  • The more types of need you consider, the richer the planning process and the more effective the education.

“What gets measured gets managed” – Peter Drucker.