The needs assessment was designed to help Next Door Solutions (NDS) and MayView Community Clinic better understand the prevelance of domestic violence among MayView’s patient population.
In addition it helped NDS staff better understand the workflow and service delivery logistics, which would be crucial in developing domestic violence protocols for MayView.
The assessment, a paper survey, was composed of 45 questions that ranged from standard demographic questions, to more probing and personal questions, such as whether the respondent or someone they knew had experienced intimate partner violence. The survey also asked about patient’s perceptions of their health, the availability of local domestic violence services as well as other local service needs such as rental assistance, childcare etc.
As patient’s checked in for their appointments, MayView’s front desk staff gave them the survey to fill out while they waited to be seen. When the survey was complete, patients returned surveys to the Medical Assistants when they were brought in for their appointment. The Medical Assistants then returned the survey to NDS staff.
The survey was distributed at all three of MayView’s sites (Palo Alto, Mountain View and Sunnyvale) over the course of two months. Initially, the survey was met with some resistance. MayView’s Clinic Operations Manager, Griselda Lopez noted “At first patients were hesitant to fill out the survey, it was ‘another form’, but when we let them know it was so we could better help them, they would participate”. Although there was substantial support from both NDS and MayView management to distribute the survey to all patients, the final numbers were smaller than anticipated. The length of the survey, limited literacy of the patient population, and the lack of staff available to facilitate the survey made getting completed surveys difficult. In the end, NDS received 340 completed surveys and the staff were able to move forward with their analysis.
Sample Survey Questions:
- What are the biggest problems facing adults in the community?
- What are the biggest problems facing youth in the community?
- Are you or someone you know experiencing domestic violence?
- If yes, do you know where to get help?
- What do you consider domestic violence?
- Do you know someone who has committed domestic violence?
- Do you believe there are adequate resources in the community to assist someone who is experiencing domestic violence?
The Program Coordinator should work with clinic staff to develop a needs assessment that asks the right questions and then determine the best point in the patient’s appointment to give the survey. Once the patient completes the survey clinic staff store the surveys so the liaison can collect and analyze the results. If feasible organizations may want to devote additional resources to the survey, such as small incentives for patients to complete them, making the survey available in the most common languages spoken by patients or having staff available to assist patients with limited literacy.