Hospital Investment & Interaction in Public Health Systems

Robert-Wood-Johnson-FoundationThis project focuses on the growing need to understand the role that hospitals play in the public health system.  The proposed study addresses key questions raised in the PHSSR Research Agenda on the organization and structure of public health systems: 1) How do inter-organizational relationships and patterns of interaction within public health delivery systems impact the effectiveness, efficiency, and outcomes of public health strategies delivered at local, state, and national levels? 2) What conditions and strategies facilitate productive inter-organizational relationships and patterns of interaction among organizations that contribute to public health strategies at local, state, and national levels?  Additionally, this proposal addressing one of the two research priorities identified by RWJF, NNPHI, and the Coordinating Center.  Specifically, “Bridging Public Health and Health Care Systems” and questions such as “What factors facilitate or inhibit the success of strategies to integrate public health and primary care delivery?”, “How do public health delivery system characteristics and capabilities facilitate or inhibit the implementation of novel health care innovations?”, and “How does ACA implementation impact the organization, financing, and delivery of high-value public health strategies and foundational capabilities?” are addressed by this work.

Information gleaned from this research will be useful to public health systems and hospital leaders interested in engaging improving Hospital-PH interaction and investment, and will help identify those factors that facilitate and inhibit public health and health care system integration. Findings from this study will provide key information about factors important to successful collaboration efforts that can be used to increase hospital community benefit expenditures and ultimately positively impact population health in communities. Analysis will help fill substantial gaps in research and help stakeholders better understand how context and mechanisms can make initiatives to increase hospital participation in public health systems and population health activities, like those tied to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more effective and successful. Although this analysis focuses specifically on understanding how PH-Hospital partnerships influence a public health outcome, some of the results may be generalizable to other public health activities that utilize partnerships with other public and private organizations through community level processes.


Funded By
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Research/Evaluation Area
Public Health Systems

Project Partners
CO School of Public Health (Greg Tung, Adam Atherly); Rachel Hogg at UK; Lisa VR at CALPHO