Gauging hospital readiness and community need are necessary first steps on the road to population health. A new website launched by Essential Hospitals Institute can help hospitals evaluate their community’s greatest needs to determine where population health efforts will be most valuable.

The website, Essential Communities, features a resource library covering multisector partnership, program implementation, and other topics. The site includes several tools to help essential hospitals develop and implement population health programs.

The Alignment of Governance & Leadership in Healthcare Hospital/Health System Self-Assessment checklist enables hospitals to evaluate the current data measurement and financing systems. In addition, hospitals can use the Community Commons and the Community Health Assessment Toolkit to view data and reports about their communities for specific social determinants of health.

The site’s Community Map interactive tool offers examples of established, hospital-based population health programs across the country that target specific social determinants of health.

Other resources in the library include the University of California-San Francisco’s SIREN Evidence Library, which highlights research articles, reports, and other evidence to help hospitals outline specific population health strategies. Vital Signs, from the National Academy of Medicine, also offers key metrics for understanding the effects and value of population health work.

Continue to check the Essential Communities site for new resources and member programs. Essential hospitals also can submit their own population health program for inclusion on the site.