Health Impact Review

Health Impact Review

What is a Health Impact Review? HIRs are valuable tools used to provide objective and timely information to decision-makers on short and long-term public health implications of a proposed policy, program or plan. The process must be applied during the draft phase and will assess potential health impacts of proposals, policies, projects, or development plans.

The HIR tool will specifically accomplish a number of goals:

  • Consider the social, economic, and environmental factors that affect health.
  • Identify what communities or populations may be impacted by a drafted proposal before decisions are made.
  • Provide a platform for the community to engage in the decision-making processes.
  • Strengthen or initiate relationships and collaborations.
  • Utilize existing data from various sources.
  • Identify opportunities to advance health equity for all populations.
  • Inform decision makers of evidence-based, health impacts of drafted proposals.

This diagnostic tool can help identify areas of potential benefit and strength to retain or enhance, and potential areas of concern to mitigate or improve. 

NEXT: Why conduct a HIR?

The HIR program was formed to add value by providing a health lens to a drafted plan, policy or project to ensure that decisions have neutral or beneficial impacts on the health of Harris County communities.

In order to create a healthy community, the use of the HIR program encourages collaborative efforts with partners across multiple disciplines such as architecture, transportation, and urban planning and can be adapted to multiple needs and timeframes ranging from a month to a year.

Resources are available to conduct appropriate research and access to additional services, such as subject matter experts, which will require additional funding. The HIR team can work with partners to decide what timeframe is most appropriate for the specific plan, policy or project.