Windshield Survey”

Community Assessment & Analysis 

“Windshield Survey”

Purpose and Background Information

Nurses must be able to knowledgeably plan services for individuals, families and the community.  In order to effectively plan, it is essential that you assess the current health status of the community and its resources. 

Assessment may include the following strategies:  Mining of health data bases, windshield or walking surveys, and more formal quantitative and qualitative research investigations involving community members and other stakeholders. A “windshield survey” is conducted from a car and provides a visual overview of a community (may also be done as a walking survey). Conditions and trends in the community that could affect the health of the population (social determinants) are noted. Most surveys of this type must be validated and expanded through data mining of available online and other databases of demographic and health-related statistics. 

Evidence collected during a formal community assessment forms the basis for planning to improve the health status of the community, which impacts individuals’ health downstream.