What is the National Public Health Performance Standards Program?
The National Public Health Performance Standards Program (NPHPSP) is a
collaborative effort to enhance the Nation's public health systems. Seven
national public health organizations have partnered to develop national
performance standards for State and local public health systems.
The stated mission and goals of the NPHPSP are to improve the quality of
public health practice and the performance of public health systems by:
Providing performance standards for public health systems and
encouraging their widespread use;
Engaging and leveraging national, state, and local partnerships to
build a stronger foundation for public health preparedness;
Promoting continuous quality improvement of public health systems;
Strengthening the science base for public health practice
The NPHPSP is a collaborative effort of seven national partners:
Disease Control and PreventionPublic Health Practice Program Office (CDC /
American Public Health Association
Association of State and Territorial Health
National Association of County and City
National Association of Local Boards of
National Network of Public Health Institutes
Public Health Foundation
These partners represent the
organizations and individuals that will use the assessment instruments.
Through working groups and as field test sites, hundreds of
representatives from these organizations were involved in the development,
review, testing, and refinement of the three assessment instruments. Their
feedback on the draft instruments assured that the final NPHPSP
instruments are practice-oriented and user-friendly. Representatives from
other organizations, such as academic partners from the Association of
Schools of Public Health, also provided valuable input.
The Concepts Applied in the NPHPSP
There are four concepts that have helped to frame the NPHPSP:
standards are designed around the ten
Essential Public Health Services. The use
of the Essential Services assures that the standards fully cover the
gamut of public health action needed at state and community levels.
standards focus on the overall public health system, rather than a
single organization. A public health system includes all public,
private, and voluntary entities that contribute to public health
activities within a given area. This assures that the contributions of
all entities are recognized in assessing the provision of essential
public health services.
standards describe an optimal level of performance rather than provide
minimum expectations. This assures that the standards can be used for
continuous quality improvement. The standards can stimulate greater
accomplishment and provide a level to which all public health systems
can aspire to achieve.
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.