Informing the national public health accreditation movement: lessons from North Carolina's accredited local health departments

Am J Public Health. 2011 Sep;101(9):1543-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300199. Epub 2011 Jul 21.


To advance understanding of public health accreditation, we analyzed data on the North Carolina Local Health Department Accreditation program. We surveyed accredited health departments on barriers to and supports of accreditation preparation, performance on accreditation standards, and benefits and improvements after accreditation. All 48 accredited agencies responded to the survey. All agencies improved policies to prepare for accreditation and met most accreditation standards. Forty-six percent received local funds for accreditation preparation. The most common barrier to accreditation preparation was time and schedule limitations (79%). Fifty percent of agencies acted on suggestions for improvement, and 67% conducted quality improvement activities. Benefits of accreditation included improvements in local partnerships. Agencies of all sizes conducted accreditation activities, were successfully accredited, and experienced benefits resulting from accreditation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation / standards*
  • Data Collection
  • Government Agencies*
  • Humans
  • North Carolina
  • Policy*
  • Public Health Administration / standards*
  • Quality Improvement / organization & administration