What is Public Health Systems Research?
In previous newsletters, we have defined Public Health Systems Research (PHSR), given examples, and referenced the state of this new field. In this and in upcoming issues, we will feature some of the research being conducted at the 6 other PERRCs located within Schools of Public Health across the nation.
Harvard School of Public Health
A unique multidisciplinary team from Harvard University, Georgetown University, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Massachusetts General Hospital, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and other institutions employ a public health systems research approach to generate valid and reliable criteria and metrics to assess, and ultimately improve, public health emergency preparedness (PHEP). This center, called LAMPS (Linking Assessment and Measurement to Performance in PHEP Systems), pursues a coordinated and integrated four-step approach to the development of PHEP criteria and metrics. The research projects address four key questions: (1) Why measure? (clarification of the purposes and uses of the measurement effort); (2) What to measure? (identification of the domains and criteria to be measured); (3) How to measure? (development of specific metrics for each concept); and (4) How well do the metrics work? (assessment of the validity, reliability, utility, and practicality of the measures developed). Visit the Harvard PERRC website for more information.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
The Johns Hopkins PERRC (JH~PERRC) is uniquely focused on mental and behavioral aspects of public health systems research in preparedness and emergency response. The Center's goals are to build capacity, competency and coordination of public health systems to prepare for, respond to and recover from the adverse mental and behavioral health effects of emergencies. The JH~PERRC projects focus primarily on the "public mental health system" as it relates to preparedness through four critical components of a public health system—public health infrastructure, communities, media and the legal and ethical environment. Visit the JH~PERRC website for more information.