The National Public Health Performance Standards (NPHPS) framework is useful in improving public health practice in a country (CDC, 2013a). These standards strengthen the public health systems at local, state, and national levels. In addition, the NPHPS helps in assessing essential services provided in the public health system. This paper analyzes the local public health standards that can be applied in a local health department. Moreover, the essay describes the strengths of these standards and the barriers to their application at the local health departments.
The local public health performance standards
The first standard that can be applied to a local health department is monitoring the standards of community health status (CDC, 2013b). This is important in identifying problems surrounding community health. It also helps them identify health determinants and risks. This is done by assessing vital community health indicators and statistics. The strength of this standard is that it creates population-based community health profiles that help to prioritize local health issues.
The second standard is mobilizing community partnerships. This standard identifies persons and organizations involved in a local public health department. According to (Mays, Beitsch, Corso, Chang, & Brewer (2007), this standard calls for strategies for accrediting and assessing activities collaboratively. This, in turn, influences and motivates individuals to have a common goal in improving the performance of an organization (Mays, Beitsch, Corso, Chang, & Brewer, 2007).
This standard advocates for partnerships to support health programs within the community. The strength of this standard is that it operationalizes public health strategies. At the same time, this standard encourages the participation of potential health stakeholders in community-health related activities.
The third standard is developing policies and plans at a local health department. This enhances the presence of governments at a local level (CDC, 2013b). This is achieved by maintaining good relationships with local governments and a country’s public health system. It also ensures that the public health policy is anchored by health improvement strategies and plans in a community. Furthermore, this standard protects public health interests and aligns the local public health strategies with the plan for community health improvement (Mays, Beitsch, Corso, Chang, & Brewer, 2007).
The above standards can be applied in local health departments using varying ways to improve the practice of a public health department. They are applied to enhance the performance of local departments in delivering essential and quality public health services. A local health department can use these standards to identify improvement opportunities or solutions. These standards articulate collaborations in the local public health departments, which in turn help in prioritizing areas for actions and improvements.
There are two major barriers that can be anticipated during the application of these standards at a local health department. According to Novick, Shi, Johnson (2014), it can be difficult to focus the attention of all stakeholders in a local public health system to the selected public health priorities. Second, it can be troublesome to envision these priorities across the entire system (Novick, Shi, & Johnson, 2014).
Recommendation and conclusion
Health performance standards play a significant role in improving the productivity of health care organizations. Technical assistance should be added to the discussed standards in order to assist in the development of improved public health strategies. The technical assistance can improve the performance of a local public health system. In addition, adequate resources should be made available for the application of these standards. This can facilitate and enhance the implementation of these standards in the local public health departments.
CDC. (2013a). National Public Health Performance Standards (NPHPS). Web.
CDC. (2013b). Local Public Health System Performance Assessment Instrument. Web.
Mays, G., Beitsch, L., Corso, L., Chang, C., & Brewer, R. (2007). States gathering momentum: Promising strategies for accreditation and assessment activities in the multistate learning collaborative applicant states. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 13(4), 364–373.
Novick, L. F., Shi, L., & Johnson, J. A. (2014). Novick & Morrow’s public health administration: Principles for population-based management. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.