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Health Care Planning, Organization, and Evaluation Resources

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Organizations and Agencies

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) (U.S. DHHS)
AHRQ supports research designed to improve the quality of health care, reduce its cost, and broaden access to essential services. Funding opportunities and health care quality assessment information are available as well as the AHRQ Publications and Products. Many publications are available free on a single-copy basis.

H-CUPnet is an "on-line query system to analyze health statistics and information on hospital stays at the national, regional, and State level. Using HCUPnet's easy step-by-step query system, you can generate tables and graphs on national and regional statistics and trends for community hospitals in the U.S. In addition, community hospital data are available for those States [including California] that have agreed to participate in HCUPnet."

Medical Expenditure Panel Survey
Contains ongoing surveys of U.S. households, individuals, medical care providers, and employers on their health care costs. Includes data on demographics, health status, health conditions, use of medical services, etc. Users can query the database and get a detailed ASCII file (with related SAS and SPSS programming statements) and a SAS transport dataset. PDF and HTML summary files are also available for various data items. Data are available from 1995+ with projections into future years.

National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Reports
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) produces the National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and the National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR). "These reports measure trends in effectiveness of care, patient safety, timeliness of care, patient centeredness, and efficiency of care. The reports present, in chart form, the latest available findings on quality of and access to health care."

National Quality Measures Clearinghouse
NQMC "is a database and Web site for information on specific evidence-based health care quality measures and measure sets." It includes "Structured, standardized abstracts (summaries) containing information about measures and their development; A utility for comparing attributes of two or more quality measures in a side-by-side comparison; and Links to full-text quality measures (when available) and/or ordering details for the full measure."

American College of Healthcare Executives
ACHE is an international professional society of healthcare executives, and the publisher of Journal of Healthcare Management and Healthcare Executive.

American Hospital Association
AHA represents hospitals and healthcare networks in matters of national health policy development, legislative and regulatory debates, and judicial matters.
» State and Metropolitan Hospital Associations

California HealthCare Foundation
"CHCF's work focuses on informing health policy decisions, advancing efficient business practices, improving the quality and efficiency of care delivery, and promoting informed health care and coverage decisions." CHCF offers a daily electronic news briefing, California Healthline, on California and national health policy (requires one-time registration; it is available only to qualifying individuals and organizations in California). Full text of many CHCF publications is available on the web site. The Foundation also provides grants statewide.

California Health Care Safety Net Institute
"The California Health Care Safety Net Institute (SNI) is committed to advancing community health for California's low-income, racially and ethnically diverse populations. SNI examines key community health issues, demonstrates and evaluates innovative strategies, shares best practices, and promotes a broader understanding of the role public hospitals and health systems in promoting community health." SNI is an affiliate of the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems. SNI's work is concentrated in five areas:

  1. Preventing child injury
  2. Understanding and addressing racial disparities in health care
  3. Preventing violence
  4. Improving systems capabilities
  5. Addressing the oral health needs of children.

California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development
The State and County Data Products page has financial, utilization, patient discharge, and other data on California's healthcare infrastructure. California Perspectives in Healthcare "is designed to provide an overview of healthcare facilities and services within California. The publication is divided into sections including one section for each of California's 58 counties and one section for statewide."

California Office of the Patient Advocate
Research and reports here include the HMO Report Card, with information on California's HMO enrollees, language barriers and HMO ratings on asthma, cancer and diabetes among much more.

Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.
"CHCS is a nonprofit, policy resource center that promotes high quality health care services for low-income populations and people with chronic illnesses and disabilities. We achieve this objective by conducting policy analysis, testing model products and providing 'real world' training and technical assistance to our key audiences: purchasers of publicly-financed health care, managed care organizations and consumer groups."

Center for Health and Public Policy Studies
"The Center for Health and Public Policy Studies conducts research and policy analysis on current issues in health policy and politics that affect California and the nation." The Center's activities include the Health Insurance Policy Program, Tobacco Control, California chartbook Project, California Health Policy Roundtable, Medicaid Managed Care, and Consumers in Managed Care. CHPPS is a part of the UCB school of Public Health. A database of the Center's publications is available.

Center for Studying Health System Change
"The Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) is a nonpartisan policy research organization located in Washington, D.C. HSC designs and conducts studies focused on the U.S. health care system to inform the thinking and decisions of policy makers in government and private industry." The HSC has conducted household and physician surveys periodically since 1996. In addition, it conducts interviews and site visits in twelve cities. Based on this research, the HSC publishes issue briefs, research reports and journal articles on a variety of topics related to health systems such as health care costs, health information technology, and emerging market trends.

Commonwealth Fund
"The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults. Many publications are available online on topics such as health system performance, health care coverage, state health policy, international health policy, and more. Data, maps, and surveys are also available.

Community Toolbox (University of Kansas Work Group on Health Promotion and Community Development)
The Tool Box provides over 6,000 pages of practical skill-building information on over 250 different topics. Topic sections include step-by-step instruction, examples, check-lists, and related resources. it has sections on leadership, strategic planning, community assessment, advocacy, grant writing, and evaluation, as well as Best Practices examples and evidence. Tool Box will help with skill building, work planning, and troubleshooting.

"DELIVER continues the work of the Family Planning Logistics Management (FPLM) project. FPLM helped establish and maintain improved health logistics systems in more than 30 countries. Fifteen years after FPLM began, DELIVER strengthens health programs logistics around the world to increase the availability of critical health products for customers." DELIVER helps improve logistics systems to ensure availability of contraceptives, vaccines, HIV/AIDS test kits, and more. Their site includes manuals, technical papers, evaluation tools, and other publications.

Guide to Community Preventive Services
This guide is a "set of recommendations for the use or non-use of population-based interventions for a variety of public health topics. the recommendations are based on systematic reviews of scientific evidence of effectiveness." Their recommendations and other publications are available online.

Health Access
Health Access is a broad coalition of over 200 groups including religious organizations, seniors groups, organizations representing people of color, consumer advocacy groups, community organizations and unions, dedicated to achieving quality, affordable health care for all californians. The site tracks health legislation and provides opportunities for advocacy and action.

This website is managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It has a variety of tools to assist in finding information on the Affordable Care Act. The full text of the law is available here as well as the Supreme Court's decision to uphold it. You'll also find a timeline and a list of key features.

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation is an independent philanthropy foundation focusing on major health care issues and providing information to policymakers, the media, the health care community, and the general public. Their work is focused in three main areas: Health Policy, Media and Public Education, and Health and Development in South Africa.

Kaisernetwork.org is "a free online service that brings health policy information to policymakers, journalists, and the health care community through webcasts, daily news summaries, searchable archives, a national health policy calendar, a public opinion survey database, and other information services."

State Health Facts Online contains the latest state-level data on over 200 topics relating to demographics, health, and health policy, including health coverage, access, financing, and state legislation. Data is provided in tables and maps.

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)
JCAHO evaluates and accredits health care organizations and programs in the United States. With Quality Check one can retrieve details of an organization's accreditation or look into particular aspects of the evaluation.

National Alliance for Hispanic Health
The National Alliance for Hispanic Health is the oldest and largest network of health and human service providers servicing the over 10 million Hispanic consumers throughout the U.S. "As the nation's action forum for Hispanic health and well-being we strive to inform and mobilize consumers, support health and human service providers in the delivery of quality care, improve the science base for accurate decision making, promote appropriate use of technology, and insure accountability and advocate on behalf of Hispanics."

National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)
NCQA is non-profit watchdog organization that measures quality of care provided by the nation's managed care organizations. NCQA's Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS) is a "set of standardized performance measures designed to ensure that purchasers and consumers have the information they need to reliably compare the performance of managed health care plans. The performance measures are related to many significant public health issues such as cancer, heart disease, smoking, asthma and diabetes."

State of Health Care Quality, NCQA's annual report on the nation's health care system includes clinical quality, customer experience, and resource use data which are voluntarily reported to NCQA by more than 500 health plans.

National Cancer Institute
The National Cancer Institute produces several guides for implementing effective programs, including:

National Implementation Research Network
"The mission of the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) is to close the gap between science and service by improving the science and practice of implementation in relation to evidence-based programs and practices." Their web site contains training materials, implementation guides, evaluation resources, reports, and other documents, including Implementation Research: A Synthesis of the Literature (2005).

National Public Health Performance Standards Program (CDC)
The NPHPSP is a partnership initiative created to provide performance standards for public health systems and encourage their use. Assessment instruments and various tools to aid in the assessment such as a user guide (PDF) and fact sheet (PDF) are available here. The seven National Partners include the American Public Health Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Association of County and City Health Officials, and the Public Health Foundation. The National Partners offer assistance to those using these assessment instruments.

Outreach Evaluation Resource Center, National Network of Libraries of Medicine
The OERC provides several guides for evaluating outreach programs, including the Planning and Evaluating Health Information Outreach Projects Series. "This 2006 series presents step-by-step planning and evaluation methods. Along with providing information about evaluation, each booklet includes a case study and worksheets to assist with outreach planning. The booklets are designed to supplement Measuring the difference: Guide to Planning and Evaluating Health Information outreach and to support evaluation workshops."

Partnership for Prevention
"Partnership for Prevention offers high-quality information about prevention to policymakers such as members of Congress, corporate leaders, state and local health officials, and philanthropies." The web site includes policy statements and ideas, health promotion material for employers, and numerous other publications.
» Healthy Workforce 2010 and Beyond: An Essential Health Promotion Sourcebook for Both Large and Small Employers (PDF, 2009)

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
"The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is authorized by Congress to conduct research to provide information about the best available evidence to help patients and their health care providers make more informed decisions." PCORI is governed by a 21-member Board of Governors who are appointed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The web site includes funding opportunities, a calendar of meetings and events, and includes videos from the National Workshop to Advance the Use of Electronic Data in Patient-Centered Outcomes Research.

Policy Information Center (U.S. DHHS, office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation)
PIC is the central source of information on policy research and evaluations conducted or supported by DHHS. Searches may be conducted by subject category (each with several sub-categories) or by keyword.

"PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works®. PolicyLink connects the work of people on the ground to the creation of sustainable communities of opportunity that allow everyone to participate and prosper." Their site includes an extensive library of resources organized by date, category, and type. One example of materials available here is the report Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters: A Review of the Research (2013).

Prevention Institute
"Prevention Institute is a non-profit national center dedicated to improving community health and well-being by building momentum for effective primary prevention." The site includes tools on coalition building and improving collaborations, and numerous publications on pI's efforts in violence prevention, nutrition and physical activity, gender, environment, and more. PI offers staff training, consulatation, and technical assistance.

Public Health Foundation (PHF)
"The Public Health Foundation (PHF) is dedicated to achieving healthy communities through research, training, and technical assistance. One of PHF's specialties is assisting health departments in performance improvement. A number of tools and programs are available." Examples under the Resources and Tools tab include the Performance Management Toolkit and the Planning Before You Communicate Tool.

RAND is a nonprofit research institution. Focus areas include child policy, energy and environment, health and health care, international affairs, population and aging, and more.

RAND Health: Surveys and Tools
Over its 40-year history, RAND Health has produced many practical surveys and tools. Many of the survey instruments and manuals are available online.

Turning Point Social Marketing National Excellence Collaborative
"Turning Point is a collaborative effort between state and local public health agencies, national public health organizations, and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation." The site provides publicatons and resources such as Social Marketing and Public Health: Lessons from the Field.

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
The center conducts research on national, state, and local health policy issues, focusing on the health needs of communities and populations that are at risk for adverse health conditions or are underserved by the health system, provides public service to policy makers and community leaders, and offers educational opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Their web site includes many publications and data.

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Publications and Databases

America's Health Rankings: State HealthStats
This report details progress, or lack thereof, in infant mortality, infectious disease, smoking prevalence, obesity, violent crime, and more in the 50 states. Current data are compared to previous years, and trends are revealed. The full report is available in pdf from United Health Foundation, American Public Health Assocation, and Partnership for Prevention.

BiblioMap is the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre's Database of Health Promotion Research. Search by keywords, or by using free text terms. The 'Crosstabs' function can be used to generate a table comparing keywording terms against each other.

California Health Interview Survey
"The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) is the largest state health survey in the United States. It is a telephone survey conducted every two years on public health topics and access to health care." The web site contains the questionnaires, data files, and AskCHIS, an online data query system. (Requires one-time, free registration).

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Health Analyses
The Center helps states design health insurance programs to maximize access and coverage. Their publications cover such topics as medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, etc. Online publications date from 1997 to the present.

Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care in the United states
Includes Table of Contents, some full text tables, and free Excel macros for generating distribution graphs and benchmark graphs. The Atlas focuses on describing how medical resources are distributed and used in the United States.

Evidence-Based Practice for Public Health
Clearinghouse for evidence-based practice of medicine literature — includes links to evidence-based guidelines, systematic reviews and best practices. From the Lamar Soutter Library, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA.

The Health Manager's Toolkit
"The Health Manager's Toolkit is an electronic compendium of tools designed to assist health professionals. It is particularly useful for managers who lead others to produce results. The Health Manager's toolkit includes spreadsheet templates, forms for gathering and analyzing data, checklists, guidelines for improving organizational performance, and self-assessment tools that allow managers to evaluate the systems underlying their entire organization." From Management Sciences for Health

Health Services and Sciences Research Resources
This database, from the National information Center on Health Services Research & Health Care Technology, National Library of Medicine, "contains descriptions of about 300 research datasets, over 55 instruments/indices, and more than 20 software applications that are frequently used in health services research and in the behavioral and social sciences. These research-oriented tools may be used to assess data variables and data collection methodologies. Currently, NICHSR has concentrated on describing data sets, instruments/indices and software collected regularly by federal government agencies. In the future, additional state resource data will be added."

Healthy People
Healthy People is a statement of national health objectives designed to identify the most significant preventable threats to health and to establish national goals to reduce these threats.

Information for Health: A Strategy for Building the National Health Information Infrastructure (PDF; November 2001)
This report, from the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, "offers a comprehensive assessment of the leadership required to improve the health of individuals, communities, and the Nation by better use of information and communication technology" and stresses the "need for information flows across sectors and with the public."

Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Oral history project
Contains transcripts from the 1st year of a 5-year project of research based interviews of Kaiser Permanente's "medicine and medical research, medical care delivery, and the politics, business, and economy of medicine in the United States since 1970." Interviews of Kaiser Permanente's founding generation are available also from the Bancroft Library.

Medicare Health and Prescription Drug Plans (Kaiser Family Foundation)
"This data collection covers private plans participating in the Medicare Advantage program and the Medicare prescription drug program. The data and information are based on analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. of publicly available data files from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Data are available nationally and by state, county, Medicare Advantage region, Prescription Drug Plan region and metropolitan statistical area for select indicators." Find data here on Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans, such as premiums, payment rates, enrollment, and availability.

Milliman USA publications
Milliman USA is a firm of actuaries and consultants. Publications address healthcare reform and discuss economic, regulatory and competitive forces reshaping the insurance, employee benefits and healthcare industries.

Model Practice Database (National Association of County and City Health Officials)
Contains model practices in public health as practiced by city and county health officials nationally. Searchable database of successful programs in various areas of public health such as chronic disease, animal control, cultural competence, emergency preparedness, envirommental health, informatics, organizational practices, water quality, and more.

National Guideline Clearinghouse
National Guideline Clearinghouse is a comprehensive database of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and related documents sponsored by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, in partnership with the American Medical Association and the American association of Health Plans.

PAIS International and PAIS Archive (1937-present)
Note: Access limited to UC faculty, staff, and students.
The PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service) International database includes topics such as health policy, public health, health planning, social policy, and health services. The database is updated monthly and indexes journal articles, books, statistical directories, conference reports, and government reports from over 120 countries.

PolicyFile (1990-present)
Note: Access limited to UC faculty, staff, and students.
Indexes and abstracts public policy literature from think tanks, university research programs, research organizations and publishers. the database can be browsed by primary contributor or subject and all abstracts have been linked to Home Pages, electronic mail addresses and full text documents, where available. Specific themes include but are not limited to Health Policy and Health Care Reform, Human Rights, immigration, Science and Technology Policy, and Urban Policy.

Prevention Communication Research Database
The Prevention Communication Research Database, a project of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a searchable collection of audience research conducted or sponsored by HHS agencies. Program planners and health communication specialists can use this database to find recent HHS-funded audience research studies, shape audience research design and/or proposals, improve understanding of intended audiences, and maximize resources by decreasing or eliminating the need to conduct similar research studies. The Database excludes reports published in journals, which are available in PubMed.

"RE-AIM [Reach, Efficacy, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance] is a systematic way for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to evaluate health behavior interventions. It can be used to estimate the potential impact of interventions on public health." This evaluation framework assesses interventions to multiple criteria that may better identify the translatability and public health impact of health promotion interventions. The web site includes Reach and Adoption calculators, checklists, measures, publications, presentations, and more.

State Health Facts (Kaiser Family Foundation)
Up-to-date, and easy-to-use health data for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the United States, counties, territories, and other geographies. State Health Facts is comprised of more than 800 health indicators and provides users with the ability to map, rank, trend, and download data. Categories of data here include health costs and budgets, health reform, Medicaid, Medicare, and health insurance and managed care, among others.

State Health Policy Options (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices)
State Policy Options is a resource center that states can use to learn from one another; identify policy options for addressing pressing health system challenges; and keep informed of the federal landscape. The site aims to provide guidance and direction on the questions states may ask when trying to resolve policy or programmatic hurdles to health system improvement. Includes policies, case studies, federal regulations and grants, and expert sources for more help. The information here is also sorted by topic. Your searches can be limited to specific states and searched by keyword.

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NASBE State School Health Policy Database
"The NASBE Healthy Schools Policy Database is a comprehensive set of state-level laws and policies from 50 states on more than 40 school health topics that includes hyperlinks to the actual policies wherever possible." From the National Association of State Boards of Education. Originally begun in 1998.

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