A Framework to Measure the Value of Public Health Services

This article presents a framework developed from a series of qualitative interviews on how to measure the value of public health services. Assessing the value of different public health services may have implications for how to best solicit and utilize funding, but little is known about how to best measure value.

The authors interviewed 46 public health leaders, practitioners and researchers via a semi-structured interview protocol. They then analyzed the interviews for cohesive themes.

Key Findings:

  • There was no consensus among interviewees on how best to measure the value of public health services. Potential ways to evaluate services included cost accounting and performance-based funding.
  • The framework developed by the authors takes into account four major factors used to demonstrate value: external mandates, data collection and analysis, internal actions and quantitative measures.

A framework to assess the value of public health services is needed to help determine the most valuable public health services and to strengthen the field.