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Acad Med. 2014 Apr;89(4):564-72. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000198.

Towards a unified taxonomy of health indicators: academic health centers and communities working together to improve population health.

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1
Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola is professor of clinical internal medicine; director, Center for Reducing Health Disparities; director, Community Engagement Program, Clinical and Translational Science Center; and codirector, Latino Aging Research and Resource Center, University of California, Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, California. Dr. Ahmed is senior associate dean for community engagement; director, Community Engagement Key Function, Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin; professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine; professor, Institute for Health and Society; and director, Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dr. Franco is assistant professor, Community Engagement Key Function, Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ms. Kissack is program manager, Community Engagement Key Function, Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ms. Gabriel is data integration and interoperability manager, Biomedical Informatics, Clinical and Translational Science Center, University of California, Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, California. Dr. Hurd is associate professor of surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Ziegahn is community engagement and research program manager, Clinical and Translational Science Center, University of California Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, California. Dr. Bates is senior evaluation specialist, Evaluation and Tracking Program, Center for Clinical and Translational Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Calhoun is clinical research associate and cofacilitator, Community Engagement Program, Michi

Abstract

The Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program represents a significant public investment. To realize its major goal of improving the public's health and reducing health disparities, the CTSA Consortium's Community Engagement Key Function Committee has undertaken the challenge of developing a taxonomy of community health indicators. The objective is to initiate a unified approach for monitoring progress in improving population health outcomes. Such outcomes include, importantly, the interests and priorities of community stakeholders, plus the multiple, overlapping interests of universities and of the public health and health care professions involved in the development and use of local health care indicators.The emerging taxonomy of community health indicators that the authors propose supports alignment of CTSA activities and facilitates comparative effectiveness research across CTSAs, thereby improving the health of communities and reducing health disparities. The proposed taxonomy starts at the broadest level, determinants of health; subsequently moves to more finite categories of community health indicators; and, finally, addresses specific quantifiable measures. To illustrate the taxonomy's application, the authors have synthesized 21 health indicator projects from the literature and categorized them into international, national, or local/special jurisdictions. They furthered categorized the projects within the taxonomy by ranking indicators with the greatest representation among projects and by ranking the frequency of specific measures. They intend for the taxonomy to provide common metrics for measuring changes to population health and, thus, extend the utility of the CTSA Community Engagement Logic Model. The input of community partners will ultimately improve population health.

PMID:
24556775
PMCID:
PMC4124598
DOI:
10.1097/ACM.0000000000000198
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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