As a national consensus-based accreditation organization, PHAB solicits the input of subject matter experts in various areas of public health during the development and ongoing revision of the standards and measures used to accredit public health departments. This ensures the standards and measures remain relevant and accommodate the various contexts under which public health departments practice in the United States.
Among the important methods used to accomplish this, PHAB convenes discussion meetings, or think tanks, organized around specific areas of public health. For each think tank’s respective area of interest, PHAB identifies thought leaders, and convenes a series of meetings. These meetings can be organized as think tanks, workgroups, or expert panels. Some focus on specific programmatic areas of public health, such as environmental health. Others focus on the broader context of public health practice, such as health equity. Still others focus on emerging issues, such as behavioral health. PHAB also uses other mechanisms to assure that the standards and measures are relevant, including gathering input from the practice community, receiving recommendations from public health departments that have undergone the accreditation process, and reviewing relevant literature.
Think tanks, work groups, and expert panels will continue to be used to help PHAB demonstrate its commitment to continuous quality improvement by modifying and improving the standards and measures and the accreditation process.
For more information on PHAB’s past think tank work, please see the article “Consensus-Based Approach to National Public Health Accreditation” in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, January/February 2014, Volume 20 (1).