Tools and Resources to Help Prepare for Accreditation

    • August 31, 2011

The Public Health Accreditation Board—with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—has developed a national voluntary accreditation system to advance the quality and performance of all local, state, territorial and tribal public health departments in the United States.

Through national accreditation, public health agencies of all sizes, in all locations, will gain new abilities to assess performance and demonstrate accountability and the return on investment that is critical to advancing and sustaining efforts to protect and promote health. Below are key resources developed by some of the nation's preeminent public health membership and leadership associations to inform and advance accreditation efforts.

For the latest accreditation news, visit www.phaboard.org.

National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO)

NACCHO has developed accreditation preparation and quality improvement (QI) toolkits to assist local health departments, based on their level of readiness and previous experience with QI. NACCHO’s resources addressing the prerequisites for accreditation help departments develop or update these documents and also provide useful examples from across the country. Additionally, with support from the CDC, NACCHO has developed a QI database with respect to local health departments that is searchable by state, topic area or QI tools and techniques. NACCHO has also developed training materials for local health officials to inform their respective local governing entities on the basics of public health and the importance of accreditation.

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)

ASTHO has developed a number of resources to assist agencies with accreditation. These include examples of state health assessments, state health improvement plans and strategic plans—the three agency-wide prerequisites for accreditation—and a step-by-step guide that takes agencies through the accreditation process. ASTHO also provides technical assistance for accreditation, and its QI webinar series focuses regularly on how best to prepare.

National Association of Local Boards of Health (NALBOH)

Boards of health play a key role in public health accreditation. The extensive evaluation and information-gathering that public health departments undergo in the accreditation process can provide board of health members insights that can lead to more informed policy and resource decisions, enhancing services to communities. NALBOH provides direct technical assistance and has developed resources for boards of health including webinars, the bimonthly e-mail Quality/Performance Improvement NewsAlert, and a set of frequently asked questions.

National Indian Health Board (NIHB)

The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) and The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) have partnered in a national effort to improve public health practice in Indian Country. PHAB is developing a national voluntary public health accreditation program for state, territorial, tribal, and local health departments. To obtain additional information please visit the NIHB Web site.

National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)

The Multi-State Learning Collaborative: Lead States in Public Health Quality Improvement convened state and local health departments in 16 states to use QI practices as a means to improve services and the health of communities, and to prepare for accreditation. NNPHI is synthesizing resources that articulate key lessons on emergent topics and provide guidance to practitioners. These include stories from the field, demonstrating approaches that have proven effective in preparing for accreditation.

Upcoming NNPHI topical briefs will focus on The Benefits of Working with Public Health Institutes in QI and Accreditation, Building Workforce Capacity in QI, Communicating QI and Accreditation’s Value to Policymakers, Developing a Performance Management System, Engaging Tribes in QI and Accreditation, QI Spread, Quality Planning, and Sustaining the MLC’s Work.