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National Public Health Improvement Initiative

2011 National Public Health Improvement Initiative (NPHII)
Grantee Meeting

Atlanta, Georgia
March 30 – April 1, 2011

Accreditation of Public Health Departments – Building Readiness and Driving Quality Improvement

Speakers: Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN, President and CEO, Public Health Accreditation Board; Liza Corso, MPA, Acting Branch Chief, Agency and Systems Improvement Branch, OSTLTS; and Jessica Solomon Fisher, MCP, Program Manager, NACCHO

Description: In the fall of 2011, a national accreditation program for health departments will be launched by the Public Health Accreditation Board. With support from CDC and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and intensive leadership from public health leaders, this landmark endeavor is intended to improve the quality and performance of public health. This session:

  • Provided information on the current status and upcoming launch of the national accreditation program
  • Outlined CDC and RWJF sponsorship of and support for voluntary accreditation and QI
  • Described examples of state, local and tribal participation in the PHAB beta test
  • Highlight activities that can be taken to prepare for accreditation and available tools and resources, including support for the pre-requisites of health assessment, health improvement planning, and strategic planning
  • Described the importance of quality improvement in public health practice and as the foundation of the accreditation program

Accreditation of Public Health Departments [PDF - 408KB] - K. Bender
Accreditation of Public Health Departments [PDF - 663KB] - L. Corso
Accreditation of Public Health Departments [PDF - 829KB] - J. Solomon Fisher
Accreditation of Public Health Departments - J. Pearsol

Questions and Answers:

Q:  Is the accreditation process a rolling one so we don’t have to wait for the next cycle?

A:  Yes, but a queue is forming. 

Q:  Was Tribal input sought for NPHSP?

A:  NPHSP has been used successfully in multiple tribal setting and input was provided by the Indian Health Board.  With the re-engineering process, may look at additional tribal input and the development of specialized tools for tribes.

Q:  How can I get help for building support for accreditation within my state?

A:  Resources are available through the PHAB and partner websites.  Accreditation can provide a readymade roadmap for system improvement for a new S/THO.

Q:  How can tribes and localities use the PHAB standards?

A:  There is one document for all to use.  Each standard is coded with the following:
•           “S” (State)
•           “T” (Tribe)
•           “L” (Local)
•           “All”

Q:  How and when can we access the MLC evaluation?

A:  It will be coming out shortly and will be published on the NNPHI website, among others’.

Q:  Which partner should I access for TA?

A:  Partners are working together to provide TA.  It is important to realize our roles.  PHAB can help with process of readiness, but not content (needed improvements) as they are the accrediting body.  Webinars, networking, and individual TA will soon be made available.

Q:  Are the partners equipped to handle the onslaught of demand?

A:  Yes.  TA will be provided in an efficient and effective manner, utilizing broad-based approaches such as webinars combined with targeted TA.  Partners have experience with similar efforts and have worked before together extensively.  Applicants will be handled on a rolling basis. 

Q:  Won’t supplemental funding just build demand?

A:  Yes, but our experience teaches us that not all states and territories are immediately ready to seek accreditation.  The pre-requisites often need to be re-thought and refined, so all applicants are not immediately ready to go at the same time.  The process begins with the prerequisites.

Q:  How long was the average test time in the Beta sites?

A:  Several 100 hours on average, but we think this is because they were Beta sites working through a process that was not yet finalized.  An FTE was devoted half-full time.  Washington State took over 9 months.  

Q:  Have the PHAB standards been cross-walked with the 10 essential services?  How about with the categorical funding streams that drive organization?

A:  Important to realize that PHAB is system-wide and that specialized accreditation processes for labs etc. remain and continue to be relevant.  Think tanks have been organized to address these concerns and make these connections.  Liza will explain further.

Q:  CDC grants should encourage QI at a SYSTEMS level.

A:  The opportunity for pushing/facilitating this is appreciated.

Q:  Again, need to explicitly work funding for accreditation into existing and proposed grants, so that states could use some of their funding for accreditation.

A:  Yes, there are thoughts/discussion about this; how it should be perceived as a part of ongoing business.

Q:  We need a storyboard of connections. Is Baldridge connected with Healthy People 2020 a good working model?

A:  PHAB is flexible, accepting many different approaches provided they meet the requirements.

Q:  Yes, but specifically, what pieces of existing systems go where?  This needs to shown visually.

A:  Understood.  Also, TA can be provided to work with you and get you there. 


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