267963 Community health assessments and improvement plans: A quality analysis

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Julie A. Willems Van Dijk, RN PhD , School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Madison, WI
Bridget Booske Catlin, PhD , 517 WARF Building, Department of Population Health Sciences, Madison, WI
Community health assessments (CHA) and improvement plans (CHIP) are a critical function of local health departments (LHD) mandated by state statute in Wisconsin and a core component of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) Standards. As other partners, such as hospitals, enter the community health improvement environment, the importance of public health-led CHAs and CHIPS is increasing. Despite their central function in public health practice, there is limited research that measures the content or quality of these processes. This session will present the results of a study, conducted under the auspices of the Wisconsin Public Health Practice Based Research Network and funded through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's public health practice based research program, to measure the quality of Wisconsin's health improvement processes. A CHA/CHIP quality measurement tool, based on the literature and the PHAB standards, was developed and used to measure the quality of Wisconsin's 92 local health departments' CHA's and CHIP's. The tool focused on each of the steps in the health improvement process—working together, assessing needs and resources, picking priorities, finding policies and programs that work, implementing strategies, and evaluating progress. Findings will inform the creation of a self-assessment tool for local practitioners, identify training and technical assistance needs of LHDs, and provide the foundation for future research.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the components of a community health assessment and improvement plan quality measurement tool. 2. Discuss the findings of an analysis of the quality of Wisconsin’s local health departments’ community health assessments and improvement plans. 3. Identify strategies for improving community health assessment and improvement plans and opportunities for further research.

Keywords: Community Health Assessment, Public Health Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in Industrial Engineering and 22 years of research experience in population health and health services research. I am the Deputy Director of the County Health Rankings project and the Project Director of the County Health Roadmaps project.I have worked with numerous stakeholders to identify ways for them to integrate the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps content into existing population health improvement efforts.
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.