Performance Improvement 2004. Achieving Performance Standards in Public Health: Early Findings from the National Public Health Performance Standards Program


This study analyzed how pilot-test data from the National Public Health Performance Standards Program could inform public health policy, administration, and practice. The Program was created to develop measurable performance standards for public health systems and a process for encouraging improvements in essential public health services. The study: (1) explored how measures of local public health system performance vary across communities and essential services; (2) examined the institutional, financial, and community characteristics associated with system performance; and (3) explored the relationships between public health system performance and community health outcomes. Findings in this study indicated that, while a majority of systems maintain some level of activity in each of the 10 essential service areas, most give substantially more attention to some essential services than to others. Performance was particularly high for enforcing laws and regulations and informing, educating, and empowering people. The activity composite scores provide a more detailed view of performance in each essential service area by indicating how closely local public health systems align with what is considered to be optimal performance. Finally, estimates from the multivariate regression models indicated that public health performance varies significantly with selected financial and institutional characteristics of the public health system as well as with several community characteristics.

PIC ID: 7995
Agency Sponsor: CDC, Centers for Disease Control
Federal Contact: Shim, Kyumin, 770- 488-8012
Performer: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Plainsboro, NJ

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