Improving awareness of how public health systems are organized, financed and utilized will require vast research and a broad assessment of the current system. At present, U.S. public health systems deliver services through a collection of divergent structural arrangements.
Public health systems are networks of state and local agencies that deliver health care services to communities across the United States. This article summarizes what medical professionals know about the attributes of U.S. public health systems. The authors discuss organizational characteristics across four categories: 1) system boundaries and size; 2) organizational and inter organizational structures; 3) financing and economics; and 4) workforce characteristics.
Key attributes of U.S. public health systems:
- State and local jurisdictions that define the boundaries of public health systems make it difficult to identify common tendencies.
- The use of local tax bases to support public health creates disparities in public health spending.
- What is known about efficiency and cost-effectiveness within public health systems relates to specific interventions rather than delivery systems as a whole.
The ultimate goal of research into the nature of public health systems is improved effectiveness in the delivery of services. Future research might examine nongovernmental organizations and alternative funding mechanisms.
- 1. The Ongoing Quality Improvement Journey
- 2. A Road Map for Improving the Performance of Performance Measures
- 3. Global Trigger Tool' Shows that Adverse Events in Hospitals May be Ten Times Greater Than Previously Measured
- 4. Preventing Bloodstream Infections
- 5. Measuring the Performance of Individual Physicians by Collecting Data from Multiple Health Plans
- 6. Measuring Health Care Performance Now, Not Tomorrow
- 7. Despite Improved Quality of Care in the Veterans Affairs Health System, Racial Disparity Persists for Important Clinical Outcomes
- 8. The Importance of Transitional Care in Achieving Health Reform
- 9. An Early Status Report on the Beacon Communities' Plans for Transformation Via Health Information Technology
- 10. A Comparative Study of 11 Local Health Department Organizational Networks
- 11. Public Health Performance
- 12. A Self-Assessment Process for Accreditation Preparedness
- 13. Public Health Delivery Systems
- 14. Regionalization in Local Public Health Systems
- 15. Public Health Services and Systems Research
- 16. A Shot in the Rear, Not a Shot in the Dark
- 17. What Predicts Local Public Health Agency Performance Improvement?
- 18. Growth of a Scientific Community of Practice
- 19. Evolution of Coauthorship in Public Health Services and Systems Research
- 20. Resources that May Matter
- 21. Evidence Links Increases in Public Health Spending to Declines in Preventable Deaths
- 22. Public Health Financial Management Competencies
- 23. Decision Science
- 24. Public Health Financial Management Needs
- 25. Data-Driven Management Strategies in Public Health Collaboratives
- 26. Using Geographic Information Systems to Match Local Health Needs with Public Health Services and Programs
- 27. Public Health Systems and Services Research
- 28. Mapping the Multidisciplinary Field of Public Health Services and Systems Research