The CDC has released the 2013 Prevention Status Reports (PSRs), which highlight the status of policies and practices designed to prevent or reduce problems affecting public health. Individual reports are available for all 50 states and the District of Columbia on the following ten health topics: excessive alcohol use; food safety; healthcare-associated infections; heart disease and stroke; HIV; motor vehicle injuries; nutrition, physical activity, and obesity; prescription drug overdose; teen pregnancy; and tobacco use.
The reports were designed to highlight—for all 50 states and the District of Columbia—the status of certain policies and practices designed to prevent or reduce 10 of the nation’s most important health problems. Although information about state public health policies and practices is publicly available in various locations, this information is widely dispersed and can be hard for decision makers to find and understand. The PSRs pull together this information in a simple, easy-to-use format that decision makers and other stakeholders can use to examine their state’s status and identify areas for improvement.
Each report follows a simple framework. The first part describes the public health problem using public health data. The second part identifies potential solutions to the problem drawn from research and expert recommendations. The third part reports the status of those solutions for each state and the District of Columbia. The reports provide references to the sources supporting each policy and practice.
The policies and practices reported in the PSRs were selected because they can be monitored using state-level data that are readily available for most states and the District of Columbia, and they meet one or more of the following criteria.
- Supported by systematic review(s) of scientific evidence of effectiveness (e.g., The Guide to Community Preventive Services)
- Explicitly cited in a national strategy or national action plan (e.g., Healthy People 2020)
- Recommended by a recognized expert body, panel, organization, study, or report with an evidence-based focus (e.g., Institute of Medicine)
The reports use a simple, three-level rating scale—green, yellow, or red—to provide a practical assessment of the status of policies and practices in each state and the District of Columbia. A green rating indicates that the policy or practice is established in accordance with supporting evidence and/or expert recommendations. A yellow rating indicates that the policy or practice is established in partial accordance with supporting evidence and/or expert recommendations. A red rating indicates that the policy or practice is either absent or not established in accordance with supporting evidence and/or expert recommendations. It is important to note that the ratings reflect the status of policies and practices and do not reflect the status of efforts of state health departments, other state agencies, or any other organization to establish or strengthen those policies or practices. Strategies for improving public health vary by contextual factors in each state, such as public health priorities, disease burden, resources, and other challenges.
See the CDC Announcement
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See also Medical Law Perspectives, January 2012 Report: Hospital-Acquired Infections: Who Is Liable and Why?