Achieving Public Health Standards and Increasing Accreditation Readiness: Findings From the National Public Health Improvement Initiative

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Objectives:During 2010-2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention implemented the National Public Health Improvement Initiative (NPHII) to assist 73 public health agencies in conducting activities to increase accreditation readiness, improve efficiency and effectiveness through quality improvement, and increase performance management capacity. A summative evaluation of NPHII was conducted to examine whether awardees met the initiative's objectives, including increasing readiness for accreditation.Design:A nonexperimental, utilization-focused evaluation with a multistrand, sequential mixed-methods approach was conducted to monitor awardee accomplishments and activities. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, as well as subanalyses of data by awardee characteristics. Thematic analysis using deductive a priori codes was used for qualitative analysis.Results:Ninety percent of awardees reported completing at least 1 accreditation prerequisite during NPHII, and more than half reported completing all 3 prerequisites by the end of the program. Three-fourths of awardees that completed a self-assessment reported closing gaps for at least 1 Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) standard. Within 3 years of the launch of PHAB accreditation, 7 NPHII awardees were accredited; another 38 had formally applied for accreditation.Conclusions:Through NPHII, awardees increased collaborative efforts around accreditation readiness, accelerated timelines for preparing for accreditation, and prioritized the completion of required accreditation activities.

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