Quality Improvement in Public Health

APHA advances quality improvement in both health care delivery and public health and is on the forefront of ensuring quality in public health systems through its standards-setting texts, education programs and policies that promote quality improvement in a range of public health systems. APHA participated with its key partners to promote the National Public Health Performance Standards Program, the accreditation of public health agencies and the certification of graduate trained public health workers.

APHA remains committed to promoting quality improvements in public health systems. This effort is in keeping with the consensus statement developed by the Public Health Quality Forum under the leadership of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Human Services. View the Statement on Quality in the Public Health System and Advancing Public Health: The Story of The National Public Health Improvement Initiative (PDF).

The Public Health Quality Forum defines quality as:

Quality in public health is the degree to which policies, programs, services and research for the population increase desired health outcomes and conditions in which the population can be healthy.

In support of these efforts, Assistant Secretary for Health  Howard Koh, MD, MPH, remarked that, "A fundamental function of the public health system is to safeguard and improve the quality of health in America." He released a statement on Sept. 21, 2009 entitled "Quality in the Public Health System."

Expanding on Dr. Koh's vision for public health quality, Priority Areas for Improvement of Quality in Public Health (PDF) was published by P. A. Honore and Wakina Scott, U.S. Department of Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, in November 2010.

Quality Improvement material developed by APHA:

APHA’s quality initiatives include but are not limited to: