Hospital collaboration in public health: How hospitals can impact the scope of public health services
Methods: A longitudinal cohort design is used to analyze how hospital participation in public health systems has changed over time. A stratified random sample of the nation's 3000 local public health agencies (n=397) were surveyed in 1998, 2006 and 2012 (70% response) to measure the availability of 20 core public health services within their jurisdictions and the range of organizations that deliver each service. Survey data were linked with information on agency and community characteristics and measures of hospital availability. Multivariate regression was used to estimate the effect of hospital participation in the local public health system on the number of public health services provided.
Results: Hospital participation in public health activities increased from 37% in 1998 to 41% in 2006 and down to 39% in 2012. Hospitals are most likely to participate in assessment and policy activities. Multivariate regression found a positive association between hospital participation in public health activities and the availability of public health services in the systems (p<0.001), with a 10% increase in hospital participation being associated with a 10% increase in the scope of services available.
Conclusions: Hospitals do collaborate in local public health systems, although what activities they participate in varies. Our findings suggest that hospital participation is associated with increased availability of public health services in the system. Efforts to increase hospital participation may positively impact population health in our communities.
Learning Areas:Administration, management, leadership
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Identify how often hospitals participate in public health activities. Identify what public health activities hospitals participate in. Compare how hospital participation varies at 3 different time points. Analyze how hospital participation impacts the overall availability of public health services in local public health systems.
Keyword(s): Collaboration, Public Health Policy
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a third year DrPH student in Health Services Management with a strong interest in public health system structure and organization. I also work as a graduate research assistant in the National Coordinating Centers for Public Health Practice-based Research Networks and Public Health Systems and Services Research.
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.