Prevention Policy Matters Blog

The Prevention Policy Matters Blog helps translate public health policy into practice, offering innovative ways to make national guidelines work in communities across the nation. Discover insights and practical tips from experts across all of ODPHP’s divisions, as well as compelling stories from other professionals.

Christopher St. Clair, PharmD, ORISE Fellow and Clydette Powell, MD, MPH, FAAP, Director, Division of Health Care Quality, ODPHP

Every year, tens of thousands of patients die from infections they contract in hospitals — and at any given time, about 1 in 25 hospitalized patients have a health care-associated infection (HAI).…

Wondering how Healthy People 2020 can support your public health work? Laura Edwards — North Carolina’s Healthy People State Coordinator and the Senior Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at Population Health Improvement Partners — has some ideas. Edwards has been on the front lines of health improvement in her home state of North Carolina for over 20 years and uses Healthy People to drive those efforts.
Shared decision making is a patient-centered care communication strategy that encourages providers to inform patients about their options and then involve them in medical decisions — and it’s a key strategy for preventing hypoglycemic ADEs. That’s because applying a shared decision-making process to diabetes care results in individualized glycemic target setting — treatment is based on evidence-based guidelines and patients’ values and preferences.
On November 16, 2016, we announced the appointment of 13 nationally recognized subject matter experts in health promotion, disease prevention, epidemiology, health literacy, communication, law, and state and local public health practice who will help us chart the course for Healthy People 2030.
When we developed Health Literacy Online: A Guide for Simplifying the User Experience, we set out to help people create online health information and digital tools that are accessible and easy to understand for users with limited literacy skills. But the truth is that these principles and strategies don’t just benefit consumers with limited literacy skills, they benefit all online users — even health care professionals.
On October 20, 2016, ODPHP announced proposed targets for the National Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention (ADE Action Plan). The plan calls for coordination among federal and non-federal stakeholders to reduce adverse drug events that are considered to be common, clinically significant, preventable, and measurable. We invite interested public and private professionals, organizations, and consumer representatives to submit written comments by November 21, 2016.

By Don Wright, MD, MPH, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health; Director, ODPHP

Imagine a scenario in which your trusted family doctor told you that you need routine surgery. You might have been anxious or nervous at first, but you’ve had a chance to ask your doctor all your questions; you’ve planned for your recovery; and you are looking forward to living a healthier life afterward.…

The good news is that communities across the nation are doing the hard work to develop ambitious plans to change their local health system to foster improvements in their community's health. Tackling influencers of wellness that fall outside of the scope of the traditional health care delivery system is not only hard work, but it requires dedication and creativity.
Data, metrics, and analytics have historically been the backbone of public health practices. These tools provide the essential intelligence for actions – ranging from countering evolving epidemics, to untangling causes and effects, to prioritizing health protection resources. Yet, over the last several decades, public health’s mission has evolved from merely addressing what makes us sick to ensuring the conditions that enable everyone to be healthy.