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State Landscape in Public Health Planning and Quality Improvement: Results of the ASTHO Survey

Madamala, Kusuma PhD, MPH; Sellers, Katie DrPH; Pearsol, Jim MEd; Dickey, Michael MPH, CHES; Jarris, Paul E. MD, MBA

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice: January/February 2010 - Volume 16 - Issue 1 - p 32–38
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3181c029cc
Qi in Public Health Today

Limited data exist on state public health agencies and their use of planning and quality improvement (QI) initiatives. Using the 2007 Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) State Public Health Survey, this article describes how state public health agencies perform tasks related to planning, performance management (PM), and QI. While 82 percent of respondents report having a QI process in place, only 9.8 percent have it fully implemented departmentwide. Seventy-six percent reported having a PM process in place, with 16 percent (n = 8) having it fully implemented departmentwide. A state health improvement plan was used by 80.4 percent of respondents, with 56.9 percent of respondents completing the plan more than 3 years ago. More than two-thirds (68.2%) of the respondents developed the plan by using results of their state health assessment. Analysis of state health department level planning, PM, and QI initiatives can inform states' efforts to ready themselves to meet the proposed national voluntary accreditation standards of the Public Health Accreditation Board.

This article describes how state public health agencies perform tasks related to planning, performance management, and quality improvement.

Kusuma Madamala, PhD, MPH, is Consultant, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago.

Katie Sellers, DrPH, is Senior Director of Survey Research, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Arlington, Virginia.

Jim Pearsol, MEd, is Chief of ASTHO's survey, performance improvement, workforce and eHealth portfolio of projects, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Arlington, Virginia.

Michael Dickey MPH, CHES, is Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Society for Public Health Education, Washington, District of Columbia. Mr Dickey serves on the Education Board and Joint Policy Committee for APHA and is Chair of the CDC Review Board for the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center.

Paul E. Jarris, MD, MBA, is Executive Director, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Arlington, Virginia.

Corresponding Author: Katie Sellers, DrPH, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, 2231 Crystal Dr, Ste 450, Arlington, VA 22202 (ksellers@astho.org).

Funding for this work was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.