National Voluntary Accreditation for Public Health Departments
Benefits and Impacts of Accreditation
Many public service and health-related entities—such as hospitals, schools, and universities—have accreditation programs; however, until recently, there was no national accreditation program for public health departments. Accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) signifies that a health department is meeting national standards for ensuring that essential public health services are provided in the community.
Health departments report* that accreditation helps them
- Better identify their strengths and weaknesses
- Document their capacity to deliver the core functions and 10 Essential Public Health Services
- Promote transparency
- Improve their management processes
- Stimulate quality improvement and performance management
- Increase their accountability to community members, stakeholders, and policy makers
- Improve their communication with the governing entity/board of health
- Be more competitive in funding opportunities
* From PHAB annual evaluation data, 2016
The resources below provide more information about the benefits and impact of accreditation.
Evaluating the Impact of National Public Health Department Accreditation—United States, 2016 – A report in the August 12, 2016, MMWR issue describes how PHAB accreditation is bringing far-reaching benefits to health departments and the communities they serve. Accredited sites surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that accreditation yielded benefits, including stimulating quality and performance improvement (98%), creating greater accountability and transparency (92%), and improving management processes (90%).
PHAB website and “Accreditation Works!” stories – PHAB’s website provides information about evaluation results, as well as a new series featuring stories from the field and tangible benefits health departments experienced. The site also includes a short PHAB-produced video highlighting the benefits of accreditation, including testimonials from health department leaders and remarks from CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.
Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: Transforming Public Health Practice Through Accreditation – This 20th anniversary edition (January/February 2014) highlights the emerging evidence base around public health department accreditation through research studies, commentaries, and case reports.
- Page last reviewed: August 22, 2016
- Page last updated: August 22, 2016
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