AbstractsGeography &GIS

Benchmarking the efficiency of public health agency in the continental U.S. and evaluating its impact on health outcomes

by Weihao Zhang

Institution: University of Georgia
Department: Geography
Degree: MS
Year: 2014
Keywords: Health outcome, public health agency
Record ID: 2025150
Full text PDF: http://purl.galileo.usg.edu/uga_etd/zhang_weihao_201408_ms


Studies have shown that the relationship between the performance of public health agency and health outcomes is one of the most notable gaps in public health research. This study employs data envelopment analysis (DEA) to evaluate the efficiency of public health agency in the continental U.S. as the proxy of the overall performance. The relationship between health outcomes and the efficiency public health agency is explored both in state-level and two local case studies of Alabama and Florida. Findings show that both the overall effect of the efficiency of public health agency on health outcomes and chances of improving the health of populations by appropriate operation of public health agency with suitable assignment of primary care physicians are not significant and promising. It implies that the prevalent assumption that links better public health performance with better health outcomes cannot be established, and after exploring various approaches, overall improvement of health outcomes remains challenging.