In 2005, New Mexico began a comprehensive reform of state-funded mental health care. This paper reports on differences in characteristics, infrastructure, financial status, and available services across mental health agencies. We administered a telephone survey to senior leadership to assess agency status prior to and during the first year of reform. Non-profit/public agencies were more likely than others to report reductions or no changes in administrative staff. CMHCs were more likely to report a decline in their financial situation. Findings demonstrated that CMHCs, non-profit/public agencies and rural agencies were more likely to offer critical services to adults with serious mental illness in the first year of reform. The comprehensiveness of services offered by these types of agencies may be an advantage as the state moves to a core service agency approach.
Rural; mental health; staffing patterns; Medicaid reform
This article considers some of the effects of health sector reform on human resources for health (HRH) in developing countries and countries in transition by examining the effect of fiscal reform and the introduction of decentralisation and market mechanisms to the health sector.
Fiscal reform results in pressure to measure the staff outputs of the health sector. Financial decentralisation often leads to hospitals becoming "corporatised" institutions, operating with business principles but remaining in the public sector. The introduction of market mechanisms often involves the formation of an internal market within the health sector and market testing of different functions with the private sector. This has immediate implications for the employment of health workers in the public sector, because the public sector may reduce its workforce if services are purchased from other sectors or may introduce more short-term and temporary employment contracts.
Decentralisation of budgets and administrative functions can affect the health sector, often in negative ways, by reducing resources available and confusing lines of accountability for health workers. Governance and regulation of health care, when delivered by both public and private providers, require new systems of regulation.
The increase in private sector provision has led health workers to move to the private sector. For those remaining in the public sector, there are often worsening working conditions, a lack of employment security and dismantling of collective bargaining agreements.
Human resource development is gradually being recognised as crucial to future reforms and the formulation of health policy. New information systems at local and regional level will be needed to collect data on human resources. New employment arrangements, strengthening organisational culture, training and continuing education will also be needed.
Georgia's health care system underwent dramatic reform after gaining independence in 1991. The decentralization of the health care system was one of the core elements of health care reform but reports suggest that human resource management issues were overlooked. The Georgian national immunization program was affected by these reforms and is not functioning at optimum levels. This paper describes the state of human resource management practices within the Georgian national immunization program in late 2004.
Thirty districts were selected for the study. Within these districts, 392 providers and thirty immunization managers participated in the study. Survey questionnaires were administered through face-to-face interviews to immunization managers and a mail survey was administered to immunization providers. Qualitative data collection involved four focus groups. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Chi-square tests were used to test for differences between groups for continuous and categorical variables. Content analysis identified main themes within the focus groups.
Weak administrative links exist between the Centres of Public Health (CPH) and Primary Health Care (PHC) health facilities. There is a lack of clear management guidelines and only 49.6% of all health providers had written job descriptions. A common concern among all respondents was the extremely inadequate salary. Managers cited lack of authority and poor knowledge and skills in human resource management. Lack of resources and infrastructure were identified as major barriers to improving immunization.
Our study found that the National Immunization Program in Georgia was characterized by weak organizational structure and processes and a lack of knowledge and skills in management and supervision, especially at peripheral levels. The development of the skills and processes of a well-managed workforce may help improve immunization rates, facilitate successful implementation of remaining health care reforms and is an overall, wise investment. However, reforms at strategic policy levels and across sectors will be necessary to address the systemic financial and health system constraints impeding the performance of the immunization program and the health care system as a whole.
As the United States embarks on the most ambitious national health reform since the 1960s, this article highlights the challenges faced by behavioral health agencies, providers, and clients in rural areas and presents recommendations to improve access to and quality of services. Lessons learned from five years of research on a major systems-change initiative in New Mexico illuminate potential problem areas for rural agencies under national health reform, including insufficient financial resources, shortages of trained staff, particularly clinicians with advanced credentials, and delays in adopting the latest information technology. We recommend that rural states: (1) undertake careful planning for smooth transitions; (2) provide financial resources and technical assistance to expand rural safety-net services and capacity; (3) modify the health home model for the rural context; and (4) engage in ongoing evaluation, which can help ensure the early identification and rectification of unanticipated implementation issues.
Medicaid; rural health services; mental health; health reform; United States
The U.S. Congress is considering legislation that would change policy for environmental health in important ways. Current approaches have been criticized for addressing the wrong set of priorities and consuming too many resources. The legislation requires additional analyses and sets new decision criteria to be applied to federal agency actions taken to protect the environment and public health. Close review of the legislation suggests that though it is intended to address identified problems, it is unlikely to lead to an improved basis for public policy and is likely to paralyze the regulatory process. Reform proposals that reduce rather than increase fragmentation of decision-making and that address problems comprehensively rather than selectively are needed.
Primary care reform initiatives in Ontario are proceeding with little information about the views of practicing family physicians.
A postal questionnaire was sent to 1200 randomly selected family physicians in Ontario five months after the initial invitation to join the Ontario Family Health Network. It sought information about their practice characteristics, their intention to participate in the Network and their views about the organization and financing of primary care.
The response rate was 50.3%. While many family physicians recognize the need for change in the delivery of primary care, the majority (72%) did not expect to join the Ontario Family Health Network by 2004, or by some later date (60%). Nor did they favour capitation or rostering, 2 key elements of the proposed reforms. Physicians who favour capitation were 5.5 times more likely to report that they expected to join the Network by 2004, although these practices comprise 5% of the sample.
The results of this survey, conducted five months after the initial offering of primary care reform agreements to all Ontario physicians, suggest that an 80% enrollment target is unrealistic.
As the Federal agency that provides leadership in expanding access to primary health care, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) manages some 50 programs directed toward the delivery of services and strengthening the base of national health resources. An enabling element of the agency's strategy is the expansion of partnerships with national associations, private foundations, and other entities that share a concern for the health care of the medically underserved. Cooperative efforts with national organizations are intended to promote the integration of public and private resources and encourage adoption of efficient approaches to organizing and financing health care. Medical education in the primary care specialties, State programs for women and children, involvement of managed care organizations with low-income populations, and programs concerning the uninsured are the foci of some of these collaborative relationships.
In Bangladesh, widespread dissatisfaction with government health services did not improve during the Health and Population Sector Programme (HPSP) reforms from 1998-2003. A 2003 national household survey documented public and health service users' views and experience. Attitudes and behaviour of health workers are central to quality of health services. To investigate whether the views of health workers influenced the reforms, we surveyed local health workers and held evidence-based discussions with local service managers and professional bodies.
Some 1866 government health workers in facilities serving the household survey clusters completed a questionnaire about their views, experience, and problems as workers. Field teams discussed the findings from the household and health workers' surveys with local health service managers in five upazilas (administrative sub-districts) and with the Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) and Bangladesh Nurses Association (BNA).
Nearly one half of the health workers (45%) reported difficulties fulfilling their duties, especially doctors, women, and younger workers. They cited inadequate supplies and infrastructure, bad behaviour of patients, and administrative problems. Many, especially doctors (74%), considered they were badly treated as employees. Nearly all said lack of medicines in government facilities was due to inadequate supply, not improved during the HPSP. Two thirds of doctors and nurses complained of bad behaviour of patients. A quarter of respondents thought quality of service had improved as a result of the HPSP.
Local service managers and the BMA and BNA accepted patients had negative views and experiences, blaming inadequate resources, high patient loads, and patients' unrealistic expectations. They said doctors and nurses were demotivated by poor working conditions, unfair treatment, and lack of career progression; private and unqualified practitioners sought to please patients instead of giving medically appropriate care. The BMA considered it would be dangerous to attempt to train and register unqualified practitioners.
The continuing dissatisfaction of health workers may have undermined the effectiveness of the HPSP. Presenting the views of the public and service users to health managers helped to focus discussions about quality of services. It is important to involve health workers in health services reforms.
This article is the second article in the Human Resources for Health journal's first quarterly feature. The series of seven articles has been contributed by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) under the theme of leadership and management in public health and will be published article-by-article over the next few weeks. The journal invited Dr Manuel M. Dayrit, Director of the WHO Department of Human Resources for Health and former Minister of Health for the Philippines to launch the feature with an opening editorial to be found in the journal's blog.
This article – number two in the series – describes the experience of the Family Life Education Programme (FLEP), a reproductive health program that provides community-based health services through 40 clinics in five districts of Uganda, in improving retention and performance by using the Management Sciences for Health (MSH) Human Resource Management Rapid Assessment Tool.
A few years ago, the FLEP of Busoga Diocese began to see an increase in staff turnover and a decrease in overall organizational performance. The workplace climate was poor and people stopped coming for services even though there were few other choices in the area. An external assessment found the quality of the health care services provided was deficient.
An action plan to improve their human resource management (HRM) system was developed and implemented. To assess the strengths and weaknesses of their system and to develop an action plan, they used the Rapid Assessment Tool. The tool guides users through a process of prioritizing and action planning after the assessment is done.
By implementing the various recommended changes, FLEP established an improved, responsive HRM system. Increased employee satisfaction led to less staff turnover, better performance, and increased utilization of health services. These benefits were achieved by cost-effective measures focused on professionalizing the organization's approach to HRM.
The Public Health Programs and Services (PHP&S) Branch of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services began a strategic planning effort in January 1986 to meet new disease trends, curb rising health care costs, consolidate limited resources, and handle shifting demographics. A strategic plan was designed to assess the opportunities and challenges facing the agency over a 5-year horizon. Priority areas were recognized, and seven strategic directives were formulated to guide PHP&S in expanding public health services to a changing community. Health promotion was acknowledged as a critical target of the strategic planning process. Among the most significant results of the health promotion directive was the establishment of an annual Public Health Week in Los Angeles County. Beginning in 1988, 1 week per year was selected to enhance the community's awareness of public health programs and the leadership role PHP&S plays in providing these programs to nearly 9 million residents of Los Angeles County. Events in Public Health Week include a professional lecture series and the honoring of an outstanding public health activist and a media personality who has fostered health promotion. Other free community activities such as mobile clinics, screenings, and health fairs are held throughout the county. With intensive media coverage of Public Health Week, PHP&S has been aggressive in promoting its own services and accomplishments while also educating the community on vital wellness issues. The strategic methodology employed by PHP&S, with its emphasis on long-range proactive planning, is receiving national recognition and could be adopted by similar agencies wishing to enhance their image and develop unique health promotion projects in their communities.
This study examined leadership, organizational climate, staff turnover intentions, and voluntary turnover during a large-scale statewide behavioral health system reform. The initial data collection occurred nine months after initiation of the reform with a follow-up round of data collected 18 months later. A self-administered structured assessment was completed by 190 participants (administrators, support staff, providers) employed by 14 agencies. Key variables included leadership, organizational climate, turnover intentions, turnover, and reform-related financial stress (“low” versus “high”) experienced by the agencies. Analyses revealed that positive leadership was related to a stronger empowering climate in both high and low stress agencies. However, the association between more positive leadership and lower demoralizing climate was evident only in high stress agencies. For both types of agencies empowering climate was negatively associated with turnover intentions, and demoralizing climate was associated with stronger turnover intentions. Turnover intentions were positively associated with voluntary turnover. Results suggest that strong leadership is particularly important in times of system and organizational change and may reduce poor climate associated with turnover intentions and turnover. Leadership and organizational context should be addressed to retain staff during these periods of systemic change.
Behavioral health policy; leadership; organizational studies; safety-net institutions; turnover
The aging population is a rapidly growing demographic. Isolation and limited autonomy render many of the elderly vulnerable to abuse, neglect and exploitation. As the population grows, so does the need for Adult Protective Services (APS). This study was conducted to examine current knowledge of older adult protection laws in Georgia among APS staff and to identify training opportunities to better prepare the APS workforce in case detection and intervention.
The Georgia State University Institute of Public Health faculty developed a primary survey in partnership with the Georgia Division of Aging Services’ leadership to identify key training priority issues for APS caseworkers and investigators. A 47-item electronic questionnaire was delivered to all APS employees via work-issued email accounts. We conducted descriptive analyses, t-tests and chi-square analyses to determine APS employees’ baseline knowledge of Georgia’s elder abuse policies, laws and practices, as well as examine associations of age, ethnicity, and educational attainment with knowledge. We used a p-value of 0.05 and 95% confidence intervals to determine statistical significance of analyses performed.
Ninety-two out of 175 APS staff responded to the survey (53% response rate). The majority of respondents were Caucasian (56%) women (92%). For over half the survey items, paired sample t-tests revealed significant differences between what APS staff reported as known and what APS staff members indicated they needed to know more about in terms of elder abuse and current policies. Chi-square tests revealed that non-Caucasians significantly preferred video conferencing as a training format (44% compared to 18%), [χ2(1) = 7.102, p < .008], whereas Caucasians preferred asynchronous online learning formats (55% compared to 28%) [χ2(1) =5.951, p < .015].
Results from this study provide the Georgia Division of Aging with insight into specific policy areas that are not well understood by APS staff. Soliciting input from intended trainees allows public health educators to tailor and improve training sessions. Trainee input may result in optimization of policy implementation, which may result in greater injury prevention and protection of older adults vulnerable to abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Public health activities in the United States are delivered through multiple public and private organizations that vary widely in their resources, missions, and operations. Without strong coordination mechanisms, these delivery arrangements may perpetuate large gaps, inequities, and inefficiencies in public health activities. We examined evidence and uncertainties concerning the use of partnerships to improve the performance of the public health system, with a special focus on partnerships between public health agencies and health care organizations. We found that the types of partnerships likely to have the largest and most direct effects on population health are among the most difficult, and therefore least prevalent, forms of collaboration. High opportunity costs and weak and diffuse participation incentives hinder partnerships that focus on expanding effective prevention programs and policies. Targeted policy actions and leadership strategies are required to illuminate and enhance partnership incentives.
The World Health Report 2000 stated that increased public financing for healthcare was an integral part of the efforts to achieve equity of access. In 2009, the Chinese government launched a three-year health reform program to achieve equity of access. Through this reform program, the government intended to increase its investment in primary healthcare institutions (PHIs). However, reports about the outcome and the improvement of the equity of access have yet to be presented.
Stratified sampling was employed in this research. The samples used for the study comprised 34 community health service centers (CHSCs) and 92 township hospitals (THs) from six provinces of China. Collected data, which were publicly available, consisted of the total revenue, financial revenue, and the number of people for the periods covering January 2010 to September 2010 and January 2011 to September 2011. Revenue information for 2009 and 2010 was obtained from China’s Health Statistics Yearbook.
By using indicators such as government investment, government finance proportion and per capita revenue, t-tests for paired and independent samples were used to analyze the changes in government investment.
Government invest large amount of money to the primary healthcare institutions. Government finance proportion in 2008 was 18.2%. This percentage increased to 38.84% in 2011, indicating statistical significance (p = 0.000) between 2010 and 2011. The per capita financial input was 20.92 yuan in 2010 and 31.10 yuan in 2011. Compared with the figures from 2008 to 2010, the gap in different health sectors narrowed in 2011, and differences emerged. The government finance proportion in CHSCs revenue was 6.9% higher than that of THs, while the per capita revenue of CHSCs was higher. In 2011, the highest and lowest government finance proportions were 48.80% (Shaanxi) and 19.36% (Shandong), respectively. In that same year, the per capita revenue of Shaanxi (40.69 Yuan) was higher than that of Liaoning (28.79 Yuan). Comparing the 2011 figures with those from 2008 to 2010, the gap in 2011 clearly narrowed.
In the three-year health reform program, the Chinese government increased its investment to PHIs gradually and significantly. Thus promote equity to access and universal coverage. However, the increase in government investment stemmed from political desire and from the lack of institutionalization of practice and experience. Hence, a mode of financial allocation must be formulated to promote consistency in government input after the three-year health reform program.
The American Association for Health Education (AAHE), a national health education organization with the mission of advancing the profession of health education, launched the 2011 AAHE membership survey between October 13, 2011 and November 1, 2011, under the leadership of the AAHE Board of Directors and AAHE Staff. The primary objective of the survey was to provide insight into the perspectives of AAHE members on several important issues facing the organization including: AAHE exiting its parent organization, the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), and the proposed “modified” merger with the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), another national health education organization. A total of 240 AAHE members completed the survey. A majority of respondents were university faculty members in health education, and results provide keen insight into AAHE members’ perspectives on the AAHE-SOPHE modified merger.
American Association for Health Education (AAHE); 2011 membership survey; AAHE-SOPHE merger
The Quebec health care system, founded in 1970 as a public, single payer, state run system had by 2004 reached a turning point. Rising costs, working in silos, difficulty accessing physicians, increased waiting time for diagnostic imaging and surgical intervention led policy makers and politicians to propose a new model for the organisation and delivery of care.
Based on populational responsibility and the clear distinction between a community primary care and specialised services a new model was proposed to develop integrated health networks. The 7.2 million population of Quebec was divided into 95 territories. 95 Health and social service centres were created by merging a community hospital, rehab centre, long-term care centres, home care and primary care services into a single institution with a new CEO and board of directors. These new networks received the mandate to manage the health and well being of their population, to manage the utilisation of services by their population and to manage all primary care services on their territory.
The implementation of a chronic care model, the development of primary care multidisciplinary teams, empowering the population and performance management, are the key elements of Montreal's vision in implementing the Reform.
After three years of operation the results are promising.
chronic care model; integrated health care networks; Canada
Standard interpretations of the history of public health in New York City in the twentieth century describe either the decline or the growth of the importance accorded to public health activities. To the contrary, public health has, paradoxically, both declined in salience and attracted increasing resources. This article describes the politics of public health in New York City since the 1920s. First it describes events in the history of public health in the context of events in the economy and in city, state, and national politics. Then it proposes three descriptive models for arraying the data about public health politics: accretion, reform, and crisis. Next it describes how the politics of AIDS in New York City in the 1980s was a consequence of the history that produced these three political styles. Finally, it argues that the three political styles are generalizable to the history of public health throughout the United States in the twentieth century.
District health systems in Africa depend largely on public funding. In many countries, not only are these funds insufficient, but they are also released in an untimely fashion, thereby creating serious cash flow problems for district health managers. This paper examines how the untimely release of public sector health funds in Ghana affects district health activities and the way district managers cope with the situation.
A qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews was adopted. Two regions (Northern and Ashanti) covering the northern and southern sectors of Ghana were strategically selected. Sixteen managers (eight directors of health services and eight district health accountants) were interviewed between 2003/2004. Data generated were analysed for themes and patterns.
The results showed that untimely release of funds disrupts the implementation of health activities and demoralises district health staff. However, based on their prior knowledge of when funds are likely to be released, district health managers adopt a range of informal mechanisms to cope with the situation. These include obtaining supplies on credit, borrowing cash internally, pre-purchasing materials, and conserving part of the fourth quarter donor-pooled funds for the first quarter of the next year. While these informal mechanisms have kept the district health system in Ghana running in the face of persistent delays in funding, some of them are open to abuse and could be a potential source of corruption in the health system.
Official recognition of some of these informal managerial strategies will contribute to eliminating potential risks of corruption in the Ghanaian health system and also serve as an acknowledgement of the efforts being made by local managers to keep the district health system functioning in the face of budgetary constraints and funding delays. It may boost the confidence of the managers and even enhance service delivery.
State health agencies have assumed a leadership role in responding to the major public health issues raised by the AIDS epidemic. Directors of State health agencies (State health officers) have asserted their influence at the national level as well as at the State level. The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), and especially ASTHO'S AIDS Committee, has served as the primary vehicle through which State health officers communicate their views to the Federal Government and vice versa. To date, ASTHO has held four national conferences on AIDS. Each one has brought together Federal, State, and local officials, advocacy groups, and other public health experts, and each has resulted in practical recommendations to public health departments on how to implement their AIDS programs most effectively. Although State health agencies have responded differently to the epidemic, many have adopted innovative, and sometimes unpopular, approaches. State health agencies' responses to the AIDS epidemic are governed partly by environmental factors, including the views of political leaders in the State, the strength of concerned advocacy groups, and the number of AIDS cases in the State. Despite their different approaches, State health officers have agreed that education is the most important tool in their programs to prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections. The rapidly changing AIDS epidemic has required State health agencies to be flexible in their approaches to controlling the epidemic. State health officers' evolving views about HIV testing and partner notification are two examples of how new information about the epidemic has affected States' HIV control programs.
In the transition from a planned economy to a market-oriented economy, China’s state funding for health care declined and traditional coverage plans collapsed, leaving China’s poor exposed to potentially ruinous health care costs. In reforming health care for the 21st century, equity in health care financing has become a major policy goal. To assess progress towards this goal, this paper examines the equity characteristics of health care financing in a province of northwestern China, comparing the equity performance between urban and rural areas at two different points in time.
Analysis of whether health care financing contributions were progressive according to income were made using the Kakwani index for each of the four health care financing channels of general taxes, public and private health insurance, and out-of-pocket payments. Two rounds of surveys were conducted, the first in 2003 (13,619 individuals in 3946 households) and the second in 2008 (12,973 individuals in 3958 households). Household socio-economic, health care payment, and utilization information were recorded in household interviews.
Low-income households have undertaken a larger share of the health care financing burden in recent years, reflected by negative Kakwani indices, which indicate a regressive system. We found that the indices for general taxation were −0.0024 (urban) and −0.0281 (rural) in 2002, and −0.0177 (urban) and −0.0097 (rural) in 2007. Public health insurance presented different financing distributions in urban and rural areas (urban: 0.0742 in 2002, 0.0661 in 2007; rural: –0.0615 in 2002,–0.1436 in 2007.). Out-of-pocket payments were progressive but not equitable. Public health insurance coverage has expanded but financing equity has decreased.
Health care financing policies in China need ongoing reform. Given the inequity of general consumption taxes, elimination of these would improve financing equity considerably. Optimizing benefit packages in public health insurance is as important as expanding coverage, both for health care financing and for utilization management as well. Although they are progressive, out-of-pocket payments are not equitable in China and have the effect of excluding the poor from health care as they cannot afford to pay for medical care and so withdraw from treatment.
Equity; Chinese health care reform; Financing; Kakwani index
In the face of all-hazards preparedness challenges, local and state health department personnel have to date lacked a discrete set of legally and ethically informed public health principles to guide the distribution of scarce resources in crisis settings. To help address this gap, we convened a Summit of academic and practice experts to develop a set of principles for legally and ethically sound public health resource triage decision-making in emergencies.
The invitation-only Summit, held in Washington, D.C., on June 29, 2006, assembled 20 experts from a combination of academic institutions and nonacademic leadership, policy, and practice settings. The Summit featured a tabletop exercise designed to highlight resource scarcity challenges in a public health infectious disease emergency. This exercise served as a springboard for Summit participants' subsequent identification of 10 public health emergency resource allocation principles through an iterative process.
The final product of the Summit was a set of 10 principles to guide allocation decisions involving scarce resources in public health emergencies. The principles are grouped into three categories: obligations to community; balancing personal autonomy and community well-being/benefit; and good preparedness practice.
The 10 Summit-derived principles represent an attempt to link law, ethics, and real-world public health emergency resource allocation practices, and can serve as a useful starting framework to guide further systematic approaches and future research on addressing public health resource scarcity in an all-hazards context.
Although the American public health system has made major contributions to life expectancy for residents of this country over the past century, the system now faces more complex health problems that require comprehensive approaches and increased capacity, particularly in local and State public health agencies. To strengthen the public health system, concerted action is needed to meet these five critical needs: First, the knowledge base of public health workers needs to be supplemented through on-the-job training and continuing education programs. To this end, self-study courses will be expanded, and a network of regional training centers will be established throughout the country. Second, communities need dynamic leadership from public health officials and their agencies. To enhance leadership skills and expand the leadership role of public health agencies, focused personal leadership development activities, including a Public Health Leadership Institute, and national conferences will provide a vision of the future role of public health agencies. Third, local and State public health agencies need access to data on the current health status of the people in their communities and guidance from the nation's public health experts. To improve access to information resources, state-of-the-art technologies will be deployed to create integrated information and communication systems linking all components of the public health system. Fourth, local and State agencies need disease prevention and health promotion plans that target problems and develop strategies and the capacity to address them.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
To assess the quality of medical treatment by disaggregating quality into components that distinguish between insufficient and unnecessary care.
Randomly selected doctors were asked how they would treat a sick child. Their responses were disaggregated into how much of an evidence-based essential treatment plan was completed and the number of additional non-essential treatments that were given. Key variables included the expected cost, the health consequences of insufficient and unnecessary care and comparisons between public and private physicians. Responses to 160 clinical performance vignettes (CPVs) were analysed.
One hundred and forty-three public and private physicians in the Philippines, collected in November 2003–December 2004 and September 2006–June 2007.
CPVs administered to physicians.
Main outcome measures
Process quality measures (accounting for the possibility of both over-treatment and under-treatment).
Based on CPVs, doctors gave both insufficient and unnecessary treatment to under-five children in 69% of cases. Doctors who provided the least sufficient care were also the most likely to give costly or harmful unnecessary care. Insufficient care typically had potentially worse health consequences for the patient than unnecessary care, though unnecessary care remains a concern because of overuse of antibiotics (47%) and unnecessary hospitalization (34%).
Quality of care is complex, but over- and under-treatment coexist and, in our analysis physicians that were more likely to under-treat a sick child were also those more likely to over-treat.
measurement of quality; quality indicators; appropriateness; under-use and over-use; healthcare system; health policy
In December 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened a meeting of national public health partners to identify priorities for addressing social determinants of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and tuberculosis (TB). The consultants were divided into four working groups: (1) public health policy, (2) data systems, (3) agency partnerships and prevention capacity building, and (4) prevention research and evaluation. Groups focused on identifying top priorities; describing activities, methods, and metrics to implement priorities; and identifying partnerships and resources required to implement priorities. The meeting resulted in priorities for public health policy, improving data collection methods, enhancing existing and expanding future partnerships, and improving selection criteria and evaluation of evidence-based interventions. CDC is developing a national communications plan to guide and inspire action for keeping social determinants of HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, STDs, and TB in the forefront of public health activities.
In October 1998, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) launched a pilot project to learn about the role of public libraries in providing health information to the public and to generate information that would assist NLM and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) in learning how best to work with public libraries in the future. Three regional medical libraries (RMLs), eight resource libraries, and forty-one public libraries or library systems from nine states and the District of Columbia were selected for participation. The pilot project included an evaluation component that was carried out in parallel with project implementation. The evaluation ran through September 1999. The results of the evaluation indicated that participating public librarians were enthusiastic about the training and information materials provided as part of the project and that many public libraries used the materials and conducted their own outreach to local communities and groups. Most libraries applied the modest funds to purchase additional Internet-accessible computers and/or upgrade their health-reference materials. However, few of the participating public libraries had health information centers (although health information was perceived as a top-ten or top-five topic of interest to patrons). Also, the project generated only minimal usage of NLM's consumer health database, known as MEDLINEplus, from the premises of the monitored libraries (patron usage from home or office locations was not tracked). The evaluation results suggested a balanced follow-up by NLM and the NN/LM, with a few carefully selected national activities, complemented by a package of targeted activities that, as of January 2000, are being planned, developed, or implemented. The results also highlighted the importance of building an evaluation component into projects like this one from the outset, to assure that objectives were met and that evaluative information was available on a timely basis, as was the case here.