accreditation, knowledge, public health, quality improvement



  1. Dearinger, Angela T. MD, MPH, FAAP
  2. Riddell, Martha MPH, DrPH
  3. Scutchfield, F. Douglas MD
  4. Ingram, Richard MEd
  5. Howard, Alex MPH
  6. Cooper, Shontreal BS


This article describes efforts to improve knowledge of and acceptance of the proposed voluntary health department accreditation program, put forth by Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), by conducting a group vetting session. The vetting session closely followed the PHAB guidelines, and participants received pre- and postvetting surveys to gauge their knowledge of the accreditation standards and related items and their perception of the utility of the standards and the ability of their agencies to meet the standards. Respondents reported that the vetting session did improve their knowledge and understanding of the standards (increase in mean score from 3.6 to 4.4). In addition, respondents had overwhelmingly favorable responses to the draft standards (28 of 31 received positive responses from more than 85% of participants). This suggests that conducting group vetting sessions may be an effective way to increase awareness of the PHAB standards and may help prepare local health agencies for the accreditation process.