Making the case for using financial indicators in local public health agencies

Am J Public Health. 2011 Mar;101(3):419-25. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.194555. Epub 2011 Jan 13.


The strength of the public health infrastructure determines the ability of local public health agencies to respond to emergencies and provide essential services. Organizational and systems capacity measures and assessments are important components of the public health infrastructure. Hospitals and governments have a long tradition of using financial indicators to assess fiscal and operational activities. We reviewed the literature on how hospitals use financial indicators to monitor financial risk, promote organizational sustainability, and improve organizational capacity. Given that financial indicators have not generally been employed by public health practitioners, we discuss how these measures can be applied to local public health agencies to improve their organizational capacity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Efficiency, Organizational
  • Financial Management / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Public Health Administration / economics*
  • Quality Control
  • Risk Assessment
  • United States