142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Measuring Accreditation Activity and Progress: Findings from a survey of Indiana local health departments

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 12:30 PM - 12:50 PM

Beth Meyerson, MDiv, PhD , Applied Health Science, Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Priscilla Barnes, MPH, PhD, MCHES , College of Health and Human Services, Western Michigan University, Eagle River, AK
Jerry King , Indiana Public Health Association, Indianapolis, IN
Paul Halverson, PhD , Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indianapolis, IN
Lindsey Degi, BA , Applied Health Science, Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Hayley Polmanski, MPH student , Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA
Background: Public health accreditation is an important frontier for local health departments nationwide, as it will likely improve the quality and policy standing. Even as the system itself is relatively new, an increasing number of health departments are seeking accreditation. Understanding accreditation progress requires valid and meaningful measures that have yet to be fully developed and tested.

Methods: A 2013 survey among 71 of 93 Indiana local health jurisdictions measured accreditation activity and progress. Reported activities were categorized into accreditation stages using the Public Health Accreditation Board’s accreditation ‘steps’ as a guiding framework. Survey data were matched with the 2010 NACCHO Profile for longitudinal analyses with 76.1% of respondents.

Findings: 59.2% of jurisdictions reported pursuing accreditation. Half (50.0%) were categorized at initial stage of accreditation, and 42.9% were categorized at prerequisite stage. Receiving technical assistance was associated with reporting accreditation activity generally, and being at the prerequisite stage was associated with receipt of technical assistance by universities, the state health department and contractors. Three characteristics from 2010 were found to be associated with 2013 accreditation pursuit and/or progress: jurisdictions reporting accreditation activities in 2010 (CHA, CHIP, QI (yes), Strategic Plan) tended to report 2013 accreditation progress; those jurisdictions who in 2010 reported discussion about accreditation with their health departments, boards of health and others were more likely report pursuing accreditation in 2013; and those jurisdictions with female health directors in 2010 also tended to report accreditation pursuit in 2013.

Conclusion: This study offers a framework to conceptualize accreditation progress. Findings confirm the importance of targeted accreditation investment for accreditation progress, and point toward the investigation of organizational, resources and leadership characteristics. Evaluation of potential predictors of accreditation pursuit and progress should continue with 2013 Profile data and later, given the timing of national accreditation implementation.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe accreditation progress by a state with little public health investment Assess the value of a staging system to describe accreditation progress Discuss potential variables for continuing evaluation of accreditation progress

Keyword(s): Accreditation, Local Public Health Agencies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Beth Meyerson is faculty of public health administration and policy at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington and the Co-Director of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention. She has led several studies focused on public health systems and services.
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.