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PHI-12.2 Data Details

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PHI-12.2 Increase the proportion of public health laboratory systems (including State, Tribal, and local) that perform at a high level of quality in support of diagnosing and investigating health problems and health hazards in the community

About the Data

Description of the data source, numerator, denominator, survey questions, and other relevant details about the national estimate.

Data Source: 
Public Health Laboratory Systems Survey
Changed Since the Healthy People 2020 Launch: 
Yes
Measure: 
percent
Baseline (Year): 
58 (2012)
Target: 
64
Target-Setting Method: 
10 percent improvement
Numerator: 

Number of public health laboratory systems that perform at a high level of quality in the diagnosing and investigating of health problems and health hazards in the community

Denominator: 

Number of public health laboratory systems that respond to the Public Health Laboratory Systems Survey

Comparable Healthy People 2010 Objective: 
Not applicable
Questions Used to Obtain the National Baseline Data: 

    From the 2012 Public Health Laboratory Systems Survey:

    [NUMERATOR:]

    Measurement: Capability and capacity of the state public health laboratory system to provide the services needed to diagnose health problems and to contribute to the investigation of health problems and health hazards.

    Optimal condition: Partners within your state are engaged in assuring that the capability and capacity for laboratory services are available, that there is a system in place to evaluate process improvement and that the laboratory system fulfills a consultative function.

    Question: How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “My State Public Health Laboratory System has the capability and capacity to provide testing and respond to health problems and hazards in an effective and high quality manner.”?

    1. Strongly agree
    2. Agree
    3. Disagree
    4. Strongly disagree

    Measurement: Existence and functionality of a public health emergency response plan that clearly defines roles of appropriate system partners.

    Optimal condition: Partners within your state are actively participating in the development of emergency response plans.

    Question: How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “My State Public Health Laboratory System has a public health emergency plan that clearly defines roles for system partners in public health emergency response activities, and that plan is evaluated for effectiveness.”?

    1. Strongly agree
    2. Agree
    3. Disagree
    4. Strongly disagree

    Measurement: Level of the capacity, authority and readiness of the State Public Health Laboratory System to respond to a public health emergency has been exercised and demonstrated to be effective.

    Optimal condition: Partners within your state have the capacity and are authorized to respond to public health emergencies. System partners are engaged in evaluating their readiness to respond to public health emergencies.

    Question: How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement: "My State Public Health Laboratory System has the capacity and readiness to assure a rapid and effective response to public health emergencies, including disease outbreaks.”?

    1. Strongly agree
    2. Agree
    3. Disagree
    4. Strongly disagree
Data Collection Frequency: 
Biennial
Methodology Notes: 

    The Public Health Laboratory Systems Survey (PHLSS) includes three questions on the diagnosing and investigating of health problems and health hazards in the community. These questions solicit Likert scale responses, such as Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree and Strongly Disagree. Responses of “Strongly Agree” are assigned a score of 2, “Agree” 1, and “Disagree/Strongly Disagree” 0. Scores are then averaged. If the average score is 1.5 or higher, then the laboratory system is deemed to be performing at a high level of quality in the diagnosing and investigating of health problems and health hazards in the community.

    The PHLSS was distributed via an Internet survey to all state (and D.C.) public health laboratory directors. The PHLSS has 10 sections that correspond to the 10 Essential Public Health Services. Each section has one to three questions about the relevant Essential Service that solicit Likert scale responses. The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) had previously developed a document called the “Key Elements/Capacities for Highly Functioning State Public Health Laboratory Systems” that was the guide in the creation of the PHLSS. The document identifies the capacities that should be in place in a State Public Health Laboratory System in order for that system to be functioning at a high level in support of the 10 Essential Public Health Services. A taskforce composed of APHL members and staff developed questions that asked for the respondent’s level of agreement as it pertained to statements of a State Public Health Laboratory System’s performance based on the “Key Elements” document.

Caveats and Limitations: 
2012 data were based on DC and 42 states excluding AK, DE, MD, ND, NJ, SC, UT, and WA.

Revision History

Any change to the objective text, baseline, target, target-setting method or data source since the Healthy People 2020 launch.

Description of Changes Since the Healthy People 2020 Launch: 
In 2016, the target was revised from 66 percent to 64 percent due to a calculation error. In 2013, objective PHI-12 became measurable. Ten new objectives (PHI-12.1 through 12.10) were created, each addressing one of the 10 Essential Public Health Services. Although the objective language includes State, Tribal, and local public health laboratories, the current measure includes only State laboratories.

References

Additional resources about the objective

  1. Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL).
  2. National Public Health Performance Standards (NPHPS). The Public Health System and the 10 Essential Public Health Services [online]. 2013.