In June 2017, PHAB released a revised research agenda to identify questions that could help strengthen the evidence base around accreditation.

Below are the high-level questions identified in PHAB’s research agenda.

Click on each question to see citations and other information relevant to that research question. If you are aware of other articles that should be added to this list, please contact PHAB Director of Research and Evaluation Jessica Kronstadt at 703-778-4549 x117 or [email protected].

This part of the research agenda focuses on the incentives for accreditation as well as the challenges. It addresses financial and other supports to improve readiness, through collaboration with partners at the local, state, and federal level, as well as with academia.  Below are examples of articles that address these questions. See more.

  • Beatty KE, Erwin PC, Brownson RC, Meit M, Fey J. Public health agency accreditation among rural local health departments: Influencers and barriers. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2018;24(1):49-56.
  • Shah G, Corso L, Sotnikov S, Leep C. Impact of local boards of health on local health department accreditation, community health assessment, community health improvement planning, and strategic planning [published online ahead of print August 31, 2018]. J Public Health Manag Pract.
  • Yeager V, Ye J, Kronstadt J, Robin N, Leep C, Beitsch L. National voluntary public health accreditation: are more local health departments intending to take part? J Public Health Manag Pract. 2016;22(2):149-156.

This part of the research agenda focuses on the research to inform revisions to the accreditation process and the Standards and Measures. PHAB has been conducting scans of the literature as it prepares to revise the Standards and Measures to develop Version 2.0. This also includes a question about linkages with other initiatives.  Below are examples of articles that address these questions. See more.

  • Honoré P, Lamprecht L, Stefanak. An examination of public health financial management system accreditation standards. J Health Care Finance. 2016;43(2):211-224.
  • Yeager VA, Wharton KM, Beitsch LM. Maintaining a competent public health workforce: Lessons learned from experiences with Public Health Accreditation Domain 8 Standards and Measures. [published online January 10, 2018]. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2018. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000750

This part of the research agenda focuses on the near-term impact of accreditation, in particular the proximate and intermediate outcomes listed in the logic model. This includes improvements related to workforce, collaboration, and quality improvement, among others. Many of these benefits are also captured in stories from accredited health departments. These stories and studies have been summarized into a report on the impact of accreditation. Below are examples of articles that address these questions. See more.

This part of the research agenda focuses on how accredited health departments differ from non-accredited health departments, both in terms of outcomes and the factors associated with pursuing/attaining accreditation. Below are examples of articles that address these questions. See more.

  • Allen P, Mazzucca S, Parks RG, Robinson M, Tabak RG, Brownson R. Local health department accreditation is associated with organizational supports for evidence-based decision making. Front Public Health. 2019;7(374).
  • Feng W, Martin EG. Fighting obesity at the local level? an analysis of predictors of local health departments’ policy involvement. Prev Med. 2020;133.
  • Ingram RC, Mayes GP, Kussainov N. Changes in local public health system performance before and after attainment of national accreditation standards. Supplement, Impact of Public Health Accreditation. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2018;24(suppl 3):S25-S34.  https://journals.lww.com/jphmp/Fulltext/2018/05001/Changes_in_Local_Public_Health_System_Performance.6.aspx
  • Sreedhara M, Goins KV, Frisard C, Rosal MC, Lemon SC. Stepping up active transportation in community health improvement plans: findings from a national probability survey of local health departments [published online ahead of print July 30, 2019]. J Phys Act Health
  • Ye J, Verma P, Leep C, Kronstadt J. Public health employees’ perception of workplace environment and job satisfaction: the role of local health departments’ engagement in accreditation. Supplement, Impact of Public Health Accreditation. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2018;24(suppl 3):S72-S79.  https://journals.lww.com/jphmp/Fulltext/2018/05001/Public_Health_Employees__Perception_of_Workplace.16.aspx

This part of the research agenda focuses on whether health departments that do not apply for accreditation also benefit from the national standards. Below are examples of articles that address these questions. See more.

This part of the research agenda focuses on the ultimate impact of accreditation on health outcomes and health equity. Below is an example of an article that address these questions. See more.