10 Essential Public Health Services and Their Impact on Practice

As a matter of fact, the 10 Essential Public Health Services (EPHS) may be regarded as a well-recognized public health framework that aims to promote and protect the health of all people all over the world. They describe all necessary activities of public health that should be undertaken by all communities and their members in order to achieve equity in relation to health care. The purpose of this paper is to investigate EPHS and how its functions direct and improve public health practice.

Regardless of the fact that public health and clinical medicine that addresses community members on a daily basis are interconnected, they approach health and health care from two considerably different perspectives. In other words, medical practitioners are traditionally focused on treatment, diagnosing, and care provided for patients individually, openly, and voluntarily. At the same time, public health considers the well-being of a whole community. However, the results of public health professionals’ efficient performance are almost unremarkable as they are not connected with high mortality rates, health concerns, or outbreaks. Even if a fundamental goal of public health comprised all community members’ well-being remains unachievable, it encompasses the prevention, public health’s most significant aspect.

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In response to the necessity for health care reform in the early 1990s, the 10 Essential Public Health Services (EPHS) arose. Previously, there were only three widely recognized core functions of public health – policy development, assessment, and assurance. However, leaders in this sphere aimed to provide well-managed and more specific guidance and regulations to policymakers and health departments responsible for the protection of community members’ health. As a result, the framework was initially released in 1994 and updated in 2020 to be “in line with current and future public health practice” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021, para. 1). For the last 25 years, having three initial core functions in the basis, it has served as a standard that defines the public health mission. A new version was introduced on September 9, 2020, due to the collaboration of the de Beaumont Foundation and the Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). The organizations subsequently convened practitioners, leaders, and experts in the sphere of public health, federal agencies, and engaged community to establish, approve, and inform the changes.

As previously mentioned, the achievement of equality in health care may be regarded as a fundamental mission of public health along with the prevention of diseases. That is why EPHS actively promote systems, policies, and regulations for common optimal health care that are able to remove structural and systematic barriers that resulted in health inequities (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). These barriers include racism, poverty, ableism, gender discrimination, and various forms of oppression. In other words, the main function of EPHS is to ensure that everyone has a just and fair opportunity to receive appropriate and time-sensitive treatment, be provided with care, and achieve well-being. Thus, taking into consideration the latest updates, EPHS are the following:

  1. Monitor and assess population health status, needs and assets of the community, and factors that impact health. This service includes using innovative technologies for data collection, its interpretation for diverse audiences, monitoring, storage, and analysis as data is a necessary critical component of all EPHS (“The 10 Essential Public Health Services,” 2020). In addition, this service uses information and disaggregated data to track health issues, such as disproportionately affected populations, and determine the main causes of health inequities and disparities. Moreover, as collaboration and data sharing are crucial for the EPHS, public health professionals aim to work with multi-sector partners and community members to interpret and understand needs, assets, narrative, health status, and key influences (“The 10 Essential Public Health Services,” 2020).
  2. Diagnose, investigate, and address health issues and potential hazards that may affect the population. Here, real-time data is used to identify emergencies, acute outbreaks, and hazards for an adequate response. Real-time health status and patterns are constantly monitored in order to prevent and mitigate health threads or develop effective strategies and address already existing issues. Thus, modern technologies and public health laboratory capabilities are essential for conducting high-volume testing or rapid screening.
  3. Communicate efficiently to educate and inform people about, health, its improvement, and factors that impact it. This service includes accurate and time-sensitive “developing and deploying culturally and linguistically appropriate and relevant communications” with the use of appropriate communications channels on the basis of the principles of health literacy, education, and risk communication (“The 10 Essential Public Health Services,” 2020, p. 4).
  4. Support, strengthen, and mobilize partnerships and communities to improve health. Coalitions and multi-sector partnerships that include health-related sectors should be convened and facilitated. In addition, the interaction of public health experts with community members should constantly exist for the development of appropriate health solutions.
  5. Create and implement laws, plans, and policies that impact health. Through the collaboration with all partners, optimal health-related policies, laws, and plans should be established and continuously monitored to ensure the absence of health inequities and strengthen community members’ resilience.
  6. Utilize regulatory and legal actions that were designed to protect and improve the public’s health. This public health service includes conducting enforcement activities, ensuring the applicability of laws for health protection, licensing, the health care workforce, monitoring the quality of health care services, and reviewing new biologic, medical device, and drug applications (“The 10 Essential Public Health Services,” 2020).
  7. Assure an efficient system enabling equal access to care and individual services needed to be healthy. This service addresses health care barriers and efforts oriented to their removal. The population should have access to social and health services provided by a competent health care workforce.
  8. Build and support a skilled and diverse public health workforce. It includes providing education and training, “building a culturally competent public health workforce and leadership,” ensuring the appropriate size of the workforce, promoting the culture of constant learning and life-long development among health care providers, and incorporating the principles of public health in non-public health curriculum (“The 10 Essential Public Health Services,” 2020, p. 9).
  9. Build and maintain a strong public health organizational infrastructure. For this, an understanding of the broader organizational roles and infrastructures is required. In addition, this service includes the exhibition of ethical and effective leadership, governance, and decision-making, the development of information technology services, and the employment of strategic planning skills and capacities.
  10. Improve and innovate the core functions of public health through continuous quality improvement, ongoing evaluation, and research. In general, the core functions of the EPHS are highly essential for efficient public health practice. Through the collection and analysis of data, continuous monitoring, and collaboration, public health professionals are able to reduce barriers that cause health inequities, prevent diseases, and provide an adequate and time-sensitive response in the case of emergency.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). 10 Essential Public Health Services. Web.

The 10 Essential Public Health Services. (2020). Web.

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