Public Health in Indian Country Capacity Scan (PHICCS)

National Indian Health Board (NIHB)
Years Available
Approximately every three years
Mode of Collection
Census- Internet questionnaire
The National Indian Health Board (NIHB), through partnership and support from a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) completed the Public Health in Indian Country Capacity Scan (PHICCS) to describe the current state of public health services as a valuable tool for Indian Country to identify needs and strengths of Tribal public health to measure progress over time, to allocate staff and resources where they are most needed, and to provide data for decision making related to infrastructure, programs, and resources for the system overall. The PHICCS questionnaire included 129 questions of various types, aimed at collecting information on the overall capacity of the public health system and infrastructure in Indian Country. The questions are themed and categorized according to five key areas: Tribal public health authority, Tribal public health activities, Tribal public health assessment, performance improvement and accreditation activities, Tribal public health workforce, and Tribal public health priorities and needs.
Population Covered
Tribal health organizations (including Tribal health departments, Tribal public health departments, and Tribal health consortiums)
The PHICCS questionnaire was sent to 291 THO across Indian Country. Respondents were given multiple options for completing the questionnaire including: completing the questionnaire via the online platform, completing a hard copy version of the questionnaire (and emailing it back to NIHB), or completing the questionnaire with a NIHB staff member guiding them through it over the phone, where the NIHB staff member would enter the information into the online platform. The data collection period was open from November 2018 through September 2019 and a second extension to allow time for completion.
Response Rates and Sample Size
A limitation to the PHICCS data is the overall response rate for the PHICCS survey, which was lower than the overall response rate to the ASTHO profile and the NACCHO profile surveys. This lower response rate may point to differences between between PHICCS respondents and non-respondents and may limit the generalizability of findings to all tribal entities. There was also variable response between PHICCS questions.