Measures Overview

Where did the PHAST Measures come from?

The PHAST Measures are the result of a collaboration between PHAST and several practice partners from public health departments around the country. Building from the work of the MPROVE study, PHAST continues to review and improve the measures to provide more accurate and useful standardized data about public health activities and services.

What are the PHAST Measures?

The measures serve as a basis for quantifying the activities and services that public health agencies provide, both locally and at the state level. Focusing on three core domains—communicable disease control, chronic disease prevention, and environmental health protection—the measures depict the availability, capacity, distribution, quality and effectiveness, reach, and volume of public health activities and services.

How are the PHAST Measures used?

The measures provide a consistent, standardized, comparable template for public health agencies to collect their activities and service data. The measures enable “apples-to-apples” comparisons among LHDs within a single state or across the country. These data can help practitioners:

  • Make more informed decisions
  • Evaluate their agency
  • Identify gaps and opportunities for improvement
  • Establish benchmarks for their activities and services based on those of similar agencies
  • Advocate for funding
  • Conduct research

Who can use the PHAST Measures?

State and local public health agencies can adopt the measures to standardize their data collection and compare their work to that of others who use the measures.

National public health organizations can use the measures to recommend best data-collection practices to their members, which may be useful in achieving accreditation.

Researchers can use measures data to help assess and plan for efficient and effective performance, evaluate need, and improve services and policies for population health.

What happens to the data?

Once an agency adopts the measures and begins to collect data, they can be entered into the PHAST database using PHAST’s data capture tool. After they are cleaned, PHAST turns the data into interactive visualizations to help practitioners tell their stories.