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National Public Health Performance Standards Program

What is the National Public Health Performance Standards Program?

The National Public Health Performance Standards Program is a collaborative effort of seven national public health organizations working to establish and implement national performance standards for state and local public health systems. The standards identify the optimal level of performance for state and local public health systems and governing bodies and seek to ensure that strong effective public health systems are in place to deliver essential public health services.

Four concepts have helped to frame the NPHPSP.

  1. The standards are designed around the 10 essential public health services to assure that they fully cover the gamut of public health action needed at state and community levels.
  2. The standards focus on the overall public health system.  This assures that the contributions of all entities including public, private and voluntary are recognized in assessing the provision of essential public health services.  
  3. The standards describe the optimal level of performance rather than provide minimum expectations. This assures that the standards can be used for continuous quality improvement. They can stimulate greater accomplishment and provide a level to which all public health systems can aspire to achieve.
  4. The standards are intended to support a process of quality improvement. System partners should use the assessment process and the performance standards results as a guide for learning about public health activities throughout the system and determining how to make improvements.