What are the Benefits?


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.

Evaluation Results*

Nearly 80 percent of health departments that have had their PHAB site visit strongly agree – and almost all the remaining health departments 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
• Acts as a “stimulus…for continuous quality improvement and
performance management in our daily practice.”

*From PHAB evaluation of 219 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, and
• Stimulated greater accountability and transparency within the health

*From NORC at the University of Chicago evaluation survey of 118 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,
• Improved management processes,
• Competitiveness for funding opportunities, and
• Communication with the governing entity.

*From NORC at the University of Chicago evaluation survey of 118 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.

PHAB Accreditation Impact Series: New Installment!

PHAB is documenting key benefits of accreditation and is pleased to present the second installment:  Accreditation increases multi-sector partnerships to promote health in communities.

The first installment of this series is also available: Accreditation strengthens engagement in quality improvement (QI) and performance management in order to improve health departments’ ability to serve community.

PHAB is excited to unveil a new, one-page infographic showcasing the value of PHAB accreditation!

The new resource, the Value of PHAB Accreditation: Strengthening Health Departments to Better Serve Their Communities, provides a visual representation of data from the evaluation of the national accreditation program conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, as well as responses to interviews/surveys conducted as part of the NORC evaluation. The colorful infographic showcases six key themes, or benefits, that have emerged from the findings: quality improvement, partnerships, accountability, strengths/weaknesses, workforce, and resources. The new infographic is available here as a free download. In addition, printed copies will be available at various conferences in the coming months. Health departments that wish to give printed copies of the new infographic to their staff, community partners and decision-makers may purchase various quantities (printed on a heavier card stock) at PHAB’s online store.

MMWR Report Evaluates the Impact PHAB 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.


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