171898 Public Health Workforce: Quantifying the Public Health Workforce in the Move to Accreditation

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 11:30 AM

Claude Fox, MD, MPH , Florida Public Health Institute/ University of Miami School of Medicine, Lantana, FL
Despite the increased interest in and visibility of public health after 9-11, federal, state and local revenues to support public health continue to be inadequate. At the same time, the discussion among public health groups about how to move toward accreditation has continued to progress. Despite these discussions, there has been only limited work done on how to determine appropriate staffing levels for city or county health departments based on workload. The Florida Public Health Institute (FPHI) is collaborating with researchers in Georgia and New York to share these and other approaches to defining and strengthening the public health workforce.

The FPHI has partnered with state and local public health departments to develop and test a metric for applying an objective measurement to determine the adequacy of local nurse staffing. With an average nurse staffing level based on workload identified, staffing ratios can be compared for other health departments. Over a three year time period, various measures will be included to help determine adequacy of county health department nurse staffing and the initial staffing metric will be evaluated and modified to improve its accuracy. The determination of whether or not current staffing levels are adequate and what staffing levels are recommended depending on workload (existing as well as surge) will help with identifying what standards should be useful when considering accreditation. It is hoped that identification of a useful metric that can be modified and tested in Florida, might also be useful in other public health and geographic settings.

Learning Objectives:
Understand ways to begin to objectively quantify the public health workforce Learn how objective measurements of the public health workforce be used to ensure an adequate workforce Understand how quantification of the public health workforce can be used with other tools to move toward accreditation. Learn how a Public Health Institute can play a key role in convening and researching around public health workforce issues

Keywords: Accreditation, Workflow Analysis

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As HRSA administrator I initiated a workforce analysis that included the public health workforce. I also was the primary person behind the development of a state by state level workforce analysis and subsequent Workforce Conference 2000 in Washington, D.C.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.