As part of the developmental process for the National Public Health Performance Standards Program, the CDC convened a group of experts in the fields of public health practice and research to evaluate key conceptual and methodological issues involved in measuring the performance of public health organizations. Participants engaged in a nominal group process and an electronic polling exercise designed to elicit expert opinions about these issues. Results revealed broad consensus around the need for measurement systems that support quality improvement and accountability applications, with scientific investigation viewed as an important but secondary objective of measurement. Substantial variation was observed in perceptions about the importance of specific measurement concepts and methods. Results highlight the need for performance measurement systems to reflect multiple organizational perspectives in their design and implementation.
Glen P. Mays, MPH, PhD,is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, and in the School of Public Health at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Paul K. Halverson, MSHA, DrPH,is Director of the National Public Health Performance Standards Program in the Public Health Practice Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.
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