Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 75, Issue 4, pp 853–863 | Cite as

Quality of public health information: Lessons from the field

  • Ronald Bialek
Special Feature Accessing Useful Information: Challenges in Health Policy and Public Health

Conclusion

There is high-quality information in public health that can, and should, be used for developing, implementing, and evaluating public health policies and programs. Problems often exist in finding this quality information or the data that can be used for its development. Even when the information may exist, it is not always accessed or recognized for its potential usefulness. Training individuals on how to access information, to assess quality, and to use information that already is available is crucial. In addition, investing in the cataloging of quality information and in establishing “authoritative” sources of quality information can increase substantially the use of data for public health policies and programs.

There also remains the need to develop new public health information sources, particularly in the areas of infrastructure and best practices. More complete and higher-quality information in these areas will lead to the development of better tools for enabling our public health system to operate more efficiently and effectively.

Keywords

Public Health Health Policy Health System Health Information Information Source 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Dobson A, Bialek R. Shaping public policy from the perspective of a data builder.Health Care Finance Rev. 1985;6(4):117–134.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barry M, Centra L, Pratt ET Jr, Brown CK, Giordano L.Where Do the Dollars Go? Measuring Local Public Health Expenditures. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, 1998.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Novick LF, Bialek R, Flake M.Practice Guidelines for Public Health: Assessment of Scientific Evidence, Feasibility and Benefits. Baltimore, Md: Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice; October 1995.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Pappaioanou M, Evans C Jr. Development of theGuide to Community Preventive Services: US Public Health Service Initiative.J Public Health Manage Pract. 1998;4(2):48–54.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chapin CV.A Report on State Public Health Work Based on a Survey of State Boards of Health. Chicago: American Medical Association; 1916:iii-vGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    The Lewin Group.Strategies for Obtaining Public Health Infrastructure Data at Federal, State, and Local Levels. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services; December 1997:2.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lee PR. Where do we go from here?J Public Health Manage Pract. 1997;3(3):ii-iii.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Public Health Foundation.An Action Plan for Improving State and Local Health Information. Washington, DC: US Public Health Service; August 1996:4.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Public Health Foundation.Measuring Health Objectives and Indicators: 1997 State and Local Capacity Survey. Washington, DC: US Public Health Service; March 1998.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Bialek
    • 1
  1. 1.Public Health FoundationWashington, DC

Personalised recommendations