PHAB Begins Work on Updating Accreditation Standards and Measures

This entry is part 16 of 42 in the series Focus on Accreditation and Innovation

by Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN

Focus on Accreditation and Innovation addresses current issues related to the Public Health Accreditation Board’s national public health department accreditation program, and the Public Health National Center for Innovations. This series highlights the experiences and perspectives of accredited health departments and explores topics related to the Standards and Measures, research and evaluation findings, and the latest innovations in public health practice.

PHAB accreditation standards measuresIn recognition of the changing nature of public health practice, PHAB has begun its preparations to refresh the accreditation standards and measures. This next version will be called Version 2.0 and is expected to be published in 2020. Changes in the standards and measures will be informed by several inputs over a period of approximately 18 months before public vetting occurs.

The purpose of Version 2.0 will be to:
  • Advance the field of public health practice
  • Address emerging issues in public health, such as opioids
  • Reflect current and changing public health practice evidence
  • Improve measurements of health department performance
  • Clarify requirements for accreditation

As PHAB works on the various components of items under consideration for Version 2.0, we will post that information in a new section on PHAB’s website called “Version 2.0.” That information will include some summary data on measure performance of the accredited health departments. While PHAB intends to be transparent in sharing the information under consideration, nothing is final until the final documents are vetted and approved. There will be opportunities for input into PHAB’s work on Version 2.0 throughout the development period, such as at national conferences, on webinars, etc.

It is critical that the accreditation standards and measures stay current and relevant to today’s public health practice, with some stretch into the future. PHAB’s commitment to ensuring that the mechanism for health departments to participate in a peer review process that measures their performance stays abreast of changes in the field remains strong. Visit the new website section now for information about the first two topics PHAB has explored: quality improvement and performance management; and health equity.

Throughout the 18-month development period, new information will be added to the Version 2.0 website section as it becomes available, so check back often.

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Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the President and CEO of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), which administers the national, voluntary accreditation program for state, Tribal, local, and territorial health departments. Prior to joining PHAB in 2009, she worked in both local and state public health practice in the Mississippi State Department of Health, including serving as Deputy State Health Officer for 12 years. Prior to that, she served as Dean of the University of Mississippi Medical School of Nursing and Associate Vice Chancellor for Nursing for six years. She was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2000.


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