Local public health departments are now engaging in national public health accreditation to achieve two goals:
- Improve agency quality and performance, and
- Ensure that agencies are accountable to their governing bodies, policymakers, and the communities they serve.
Public health accreditation provides consistent standards so that people in different states, counties, and regions have access to the same range and quality of services. Accreditation also helps maximize scarce resources by encouraging strategic investments to improve people’s health, demonstrate accountability to residents and elected officials, and spur innovation as departments work together to meet community needs.
The national accreditation program is currently voluntary and officially began in 2011 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Monterey County Board of Supervisors authorized the Health Director to initiate our national public health accreditation application process in May 2011. The five-year process includes obtaining public and community partner input in developing a number of new assessments and analyses such as these:
- Community Health Assessment (analyzing our health outcomes for gaps in equity)
- Strategic Planning and Implementation (to set goals for improved health outcomes)
- Community Health Improvement Plan (determining efforts and timelines to address existing equity gaps)
- Local Public Health Systems Assessment (a look at the agencies that comprise the broader health care system, and the ways the agency services are collaborative and linked)
- Community Themes and Strengths Assessment (Community input was used to document community assets and strengths.)
- Workforce Development Plan (assuring the availability of health professionals and improving standards of practice)
- Continuous Quality Improvement Plan (continuous and ongoing efforts to achieve measurable improvements in the efficiency, effectiveness, and equity of population health services)
To participate in these planning and implementation efforts, please contact Patricia Zerounian, MPP, at email@example.com or at 831/755-4583.
- Public Health Accreditation Board: http://www.phaboard.org/accreditation-overview/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/stltpublichealth/accreditation/
- Association of State and Territorial Health Officers: http://www.astho.org/t/pres_chal_article.aspx?id=6361&terms=accreditation
- Public Health Accreditation Helps Drive Health Equity: http://www.astho.org/t/pres_chal_article.aspx?id=6361
- Video: Reaping the Benefits of Accreditation Across the Nation https://vimeo.com/138148927