The 63 LHDs were divided into two groups based on their accreditation readiness status. The status of the two groups varied widely. Five LHDs were either accredited or in-review of accreditation. Key informant interviews were conducted with this group. The second group, or general group, was comprised of LHDs who answered an online readiness survey. Approximately a third of the general group was split into three distinct sub-groups: 1) indecisive in pursuing PHAB accreditation; 2) will pursue PHAB accreditation but have not yet initiated any actions; and, 3) will not pursue PHAB accreditation.
The knowledge of the two groups was congruent. At least 50% of respondents reported collaborating with local health organizations within their community to conduct a Community Health Assessments (CHAs) and Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs) within the last five years. Furthermore, at least 75% of respondents reported obtaining PHAB information from both the PHAB organization and from other health departments.
The attitude between the two groups ranged considerably, especially in allocating resources to pursue accreditation. A second subset explored the likelihood of PHAB accreditation becoming mandatory within the next 10 years. This subset also varied greatly. Key informants reported obtaining and allocating soft and hard resources as practical means to pursue accreditation. However, the general group reported limitations in monetary, time, and labor resources as three deterring factors in pursuing PHAB accreditation. In addition, the majority of key informants reported the likelihood of PHAB accreditation becoming mandatory within the next 10 years as somewhat unlikely to unlikely. Conversely, the majority of the general group reported somewhat likely to likely. Both groups were analogous in reporting an increase in potential funding; an increase in efficiency in their services to their community; and, an increase in credibility from the community as the main three supporting factors to pursue PHAB accreditation.
The Texas Public Health Accreditation Board Readiness Study was funded by HRSA Grant #UB6HP27874 and a Region 6 SCPHTC MPH Faculty-Student Collaborative project with Yoonhwi Cho, MPH student at Texas A&M University School of Public Health as study leader.