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.

April 26, 2016
Kusuma Madamala et al.

Objective: Describe cross-jurisdiction service sharing (CJS) by local and tribal health departments (LHD) in Wisconsin in 2014 compared to 2012.

April 26, 2016
J. Mac McCullough

Background: Billing for clinical services is perceived to be increasingly important for local health departments (LHDs). Yet very little evidence exists regarding the frequency and relative financial importance of clinical billing revenues.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to report on trends in the frequency and financial scope of clinical billing by LHDs from 2008 to 2013.

April 26, 2016
Michelle P. Yip et al.

Background: Although tuberculosis (TB) morbidity and mortality have decreased in recent decades, challenges exist regarding disproportionate distributions of TB among specific populations and geographic areas. Inconsistent local health department (LHD) funding for TB programs poses difficulties for LHDs to sustain resources and personnel that predisposes communities to risks of future outbreaks of TB and drug-resistant TB diseases.

April 26, 2016
F. Douglas Scutchfield MD

Paying for public health services is and remains a consistent concern among local health departments. The data on the impact of the 2008 recession on public health nationally demonstrated the problems with maintaining staff and services in the face of a declining resource base. This capacity to provide funding for provision of public health services has prompted a number of mechanisms to provide support for dealing with revenue shortfalls.

February 23, 2016
Kenyon Crowley et al.

Background: Public health information technology (PHIT) has the potential to improve the effective and efficient use of information in achieving public health objectives. Information technology maturity models have been extensively used in other domains to guide information technology assessment and planning, but an information technology maturity model tailored for public health departments has heretofore been unavailable.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop a Public Health Information Technology Maturity Index.

February 21, 2016
Jonathan Purtle et al.

Background: Mental health conditions are highly prevalent in the U.S. and are associated with physical health problems. Federal initiatives recognize mental health as a public health priority, and local health departments (LHDs) have been identified as partners to promote population mental health. Little is known, however, about the extent to which LHDs address mental health or how LHD officials perceive mental health as a public health concern.

February 21, 2016
Ross Graham et al.

Background: Understanding and aligning staff core values with organizational values has been shown to contribute to positive work attitudes and increased organizational performance in the private sector. Little is known about the role of values in local public health.

Purpose: To identify public health staff core values, and to improve the alignment between staff values and organizational values (known as values congruence).

February 21, 2016
Margaret McGladrey et al.

Background: Accreditation bodies and sponsors of community health projects increasingly require the use of health coalitions in community health planning efforts to ensure buy-in, leverage resources, and distribute health information. Despite a substantive body of research documenting the characteristics of successful health coalitions, little is known about how team dynamics in these coalitions evolve.

February 21, 2016
Kate E. Beatty et al.

Background: Engagement in the core public health functions and ten essential services remains the standard for measuring local health department (LHD) performance; their role as providers of clinical services remains uncertain, particularly in rural and underserved communities.

Purpose: To examine the role of LHDs as clinical service providers and how this role varies among rural and nonrural communities.