What are the Benefits?

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What are the Benefits of National Public Health Department Accreditation?

PHAB’s national public health department accreditation process seeks to advance quality and performance within public health departments.

The tangible benefits of working on accreditation will vary among health departments. Since accreditation is about performance and quality improvement, the actual benefits to a health department will depend on its identified needs. Accreditation provides a framework for a health department to identify performance improvement opportunities, to improve management, develop leadership, and improve relationships with the community. The process is one that will challenge the health department to think about what business it does and how it does that business.

PHAB has an ongoing commitment to documenting the impact of accreditation on the nation’s governmental public health departments, and by extension, the benefits to the communities they serve. This section of the website will be updated as those evaluation results are available.

Early Evaluation Results*

Nearly 80 percent of health departments that have had their PHAB site visit strongly agree – and the remaining health departments all agree – that “Going through the accreditation process has improved the performance of our health department.”

According to health departments that have had their site visit, accreditation:

–  Identifies strengths and areas for improvement
–  Strengthens internal and external partnerships
–  Encourages health departments to prioritize and address long-standing
concerns
–  Acts as a “stimulus…for continuous quality improvement and
performance management in our daily practice.”

*From PHAB evaluation of 86 health departments.

Among health departments that have been accredited for one year, more than 95 percent report that accreditation has: *

– Stimulated quality and performance improvement opportunities,
– Allowed the health department to better identify strengths and weaknesses,
– Improved management processes,
– Stimulated greater accountability and transparency within the health
department, and
– Allowed the health department to document its capacity to deliver the three core functions and Ten Essential Public Health Services.

*From NORC at the University of Chicago evaluation survey of 28 health departments that have been accredited for one year. Read more about the NORC evaluation.

Health departments also reported the following benefits of accreditation: *

– Accountability to external stakeholders,
– Competetiveness for funding opportunities, and
– Communication with the governing entity.

*From NORC at the University of Chicago evaluation survey of 28 health departments that have been accredited for one year. Read more about the NORC evaluation.

Download a presentation that highlights key findings from the NORC evaluation.

New! MMWR Report Evaluates the Impact of National Public Health Department Accreditation

A report in the August 12, 2016 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) describes how the national public health department accreditation program launched by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) in 2011 is bringing far-reaching benefits to health departments and the communities they serve. The report, “Evaluating the Impact of National Public Health Department Accreditation — United States, 2016,” draws from surveys conducted by a social science research organization to describe the many benefits accreditation brings to health departments and communities, including fostering engagement in quality improvement, enhancing management processes, and improving accountability. Click here to read the complete report.

New! PHAB Accreditation Impact Series

PHAB is documenting key benefits of accreditation and is pleased to present the first installment: Accreditation strengthens engagement in quality improvement (QI) and performance management in order to improve health departments’ ability to serve community.

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