The Local Health Department Self-Assessment Tool (LHDSAT) provides “the big picture” to health departments preparing for accreditation.
The Knox County Health Department serves greater metropolitan Knoxville, Tenn. and Knox County. In 2008, its director appointed a 7-person workgroup to conduct a self-assessment using LHDSAT. LHDSAT employs a set of 45 standards and 224 indicators related to the Operational Definition of a Functional Local Health Department. The Knox County workgroup scored the health department for each indicator, calculated the range and mean for each indicator, and discussed their results. Following the self-assessment, workgroup members evaluated the process during in-depth interviews and using a self-administered evaluation.
The establishment of the National Public Health Accreditation Board opened the door to a national accreditation program for local and state health departments. This article presents an evaluation of the LHDSAT, as self-assessment tool that prepares health departments for accreditation.