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PHI-12.8 Data Details

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PHI-12.8 Increase the proportion of public health laboratory systems (including State, Tribal, and local) that perform at a high level of quality in assuring a competent public and personal health care workforce

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): 
21 (2012)
Target: 
23
Target-Setting Method: 
10 percent improvement
Numerator: 

Number of public health laboratory systems that perform at a high level of quality in assuring a competent public and personal health care workforce

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: Evidence of a competent and qualified laboratory workforce exists.

    Optimal condition: System partners are in agreement to a standard competency level of the laboratory workforce with the availability of a standard tool to assess the competency.

    Question: How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “My State Public Health Laboratory System has the means to assure that the laboratory workforce is competent.”?

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

    Measurement: The system is working collaboratively to assure that the workforce is adequate and can respond to all demands of laboratory service.

    Optimal condition: The laboratory system is an active participant in laboratory personnel workforce activities within the state. In addition, the laboratory system promotes a positive work environment and resource allocation to support adequate workforce numbers.

    Question: How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “My State Public Health Laboratory System takes an active role with key workforce partners to assure an adequate supply of laboratorians.”?

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

    The Public Health Laboratory Systems Survey (PHLSS) includes two questions on assuring a competent public and personal health care workforce. 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 assuring a competent public and personal health care workforce.

    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 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.