3201.0 Quality in the Public Health System

Monday, November 9, 2009: 12:30 PM
Panel Discussion
The Nationís public health system is the first line of defense to protect the health of the entire population. This covenant with the Nation for safeguarding population health can be best achieved if concepts of quality and quality improvement are understood and embraced in all segments of the public health system. The purpose of this session is to discuss the national framework for quality in the public health system and the nine aims that characterize public health quality improvement that was developed in 2008 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Public Health and Science and Office of Minority Health. During this session, panelists will describe how the framework can be applied to public health programs and how the measurement of financial performance in local public health agencies can be used to improve quality. Articulating a clear vision for quality in public health and supporting the implementation of a national framework for quality improvement are commitments that are shared and promoted by partners and stakeholders in the public health system. The framework on quality in the public health system was developed based on recommendations by the 1998 Presidentís Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry. While frameworks and aims for quality improvement in healthcare were developed based on these recommendations nearly a decade ago, comparable tools for public health did not emerge until the Public Health Quality Forum was established by HHS in 2008. The impact of this national public health quality movement is multifaceted. It promotes quality along all dimensions of the system with a special focus on fostering health equity and eliminating health disparities. Applying a common set of quality characteristics facilitates cross-jurisdictional comparisons and tracking of progress. This is a stimulus and incentive for knowledge sharing on best practices. Other impacts accruing from the application of this framework should be a system-wide culture where quality improvement is a sustained concept in public health along with a solid commitment to and recognition of the value of workforce education to ensure implementation and organizational change. Of particular significance already is the synergy that has been created by addressing quality with the engagement and consensus of partners throughout the public health system.
Session Objectives: 1. Explain the importance of addressing quality in the public health system. 2. Define quality in public health. 3. Describe nine characteristics of quality in public health. 4. Discuss ways of applying quality concepts in the public health system.
Garth N. Graham, MD, MPH

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: APHA-Innovations Project

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)