Frontiers

Frontiers in Public Health Services and Systems Research is an open-access, rapid-response, peer-reviewed online journal offering brief, preliminary PHSSR findings from ongoing or recently completed empirical studies or quality improvement projects. Journal articles answer questions of importance regarding the organization, financing, and delivery of public health services; the structure, operation, and management of public health delivery systems; the application of quality improvement methods in public health settings; and/or the impact of these endeavors on population health. Findings must have the potential to guide future public health practice, health policy, and research. Frontiers is intended to provide quick access to actionable public health infrastructure research to improve public health practice at the state and local levels. It is of use to practitioners, policy makers and researchers.

September 14, 2016
Margae Knox et al.

Background: Patient-engagement strategies are increasingly recognized for enriching traditional medical care and improving population health. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) may be well positioned to leverage multi-sector organizational partnerships to improve the reach of their patient-engagement strategies, particularly given incentives to meet cost, quality and population health goals. Little is currently known about the relation of multi-sector partnerships and patient engagement in ACOs.

September 14, 2016
William C. Livingood et al.

This case study illustrates how a quality improvement (QI) Collaborative supports an implementation study of using mobile phone texting technology for notification of sexually transmitted infections (STI) test results. The County Health Departments making up the QI Collaborative meet monthly to discuss their progress in using QI to advance the use of texting for STI test results. The main purpose of QI Collaboratives is to maximize implementation outcomes through sharing of successes and challenges.

September 14, 2016
Diana M. Prieto et al.

In the United States, the status of coordination among pediatric care services is not well understood. Through the use of quality improvement (QI) techniques, coordination gaps were systematically identified in the interagency network of pediatric services in Kalamazoo MI. Gaps were found in transportation resources, follow-up procedures, awareness of services, interagency communication, insurance limitations, population behaviors, and resource utilization.

September 14, 2016
Riyad Haq et al.

Background: The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program is a federal public health initiative which supports at-risk families through evidence-based programs and promising approaches for pregnant women, and childhood development for children aged 0 to 5. These public health program funding mechanisms commonly include process evaluation mandates.

Purpose: The use of process mining was explored as a methodology to assess the fidelity of the MIECHV programs’ actual workflow to that of their intended models.

September 14, 2016
William Riley et al.

The application of quality improvement (QI) methods and techniques in public health departments has accelerated rapidly over the last decade catalyzed by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) with extensive support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Quality improvement is a distinct management process that deploys a coordinated set of techniques to assist departments in meeting the health needs of their communities.

July 14, 2016
Steven H. Woolf et al.

The research community faces a growing need to deliver useful data and actionable evidence to support health systems and policymakers on ways to optimize the health of populations. Translating science into policy has not been the traditional strong suit of investigators, who typically view a journal publication as the endpoint of their work. They are less accustomed to seeing their data as an input to the work of communities and policymakers to improve population health.

July 5, 2016
Sharla Smith et al.

Introduction: This research examines a state-level public health, health care, and policy network focused on efforts to reduce unintentional childhood injuries. The network is composed of 12 organizations: four public health, four health care, and four policy.

Methods: A 23-item survey was administered to the 12 organizations between January and June 2015. Analyses were conducted using HyperResearch and UCInet 6.

July 5, 2016
Georgeen Polyak PhD et al.

Background: The lack of a stable and adequate funding system for local health departments in the U.S. has been well documented. The lack of a comprehensive financial reporting system in public health, including a uniform chart of accounts, hampers the ability of local health departments to make a case to legislators and administrators for increased funding from local and state sources.

July 5, 2016
Nancy L. Winterbauer et al.

Introduction: The cost of providing a basic set of public health services necessary not been well-described. Recent work suggests public health practitioners are unlikely to have the empirically-based financing information necessary to make informed decisions regarding practice. The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of a costing tool used to collect primary data on the number of services provided, staff employed, and costs incurred for two types of mandated environmental health services: food and lodging inspections and onsite water services.

July 5, 2016
Steven H. Woolf et al.

A recently released map of Kentucky demonstrates how life expectancy varies across the state’s 120 counties. The map vividly shows a decline in life expectancy as one travels east from the “Golden Triangle” in central urban Kentucky to the mountains of Appalachia. The lowest life expectancies are largely in the far southeastern portion of the state, where residents of the Central Highlands have confronted adverse social determinants of health for generations.