The practice of public health is defined by the 10 Essential Services of Public Health. They are:
#1: Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems: This service includes accurate diagnosis of the community’s health status through timely collection, analysis, and publication of information on access, utilization, costs, and outcomes of personal health services.
#2: Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community: This service includes epidemiologic identification of emerging health threats and technical capacity for epidemiologic investigation of disease outbreaks and patterns of chronic disease and injury.
#3: Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues: This service involves social marketing and targeted media public communication to reinforce health promotion messages and programs.
#4: Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems: This service involves skilled coalition-building to draw upon the full range of potential human and material resources in the cause of community health.
#5: Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts: This service requires development of codes, regulations and legislation to guide the practice of public health.
#6: Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety: This service involves full enforcement of sanitary codes, especially in the food industry; full protection of drinking water supplies; enforcement of clean air standards; timely follow-up of hazards, preventable injuries, and exposure-related diseases identified in occupational and community settings; monitoring quality of medical services (e.g. laboratory, nursing homes, and home health care); and timely review of new drug, biologic, and medical device applications.
#7: Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable: This service includes assuring effective entry for socially disadvantaged people into a coordinated system of clinical care.
#8: Assure a competent public and personal health care workforce: This service includes education and training for personnel to meet the needs for public and personal health service and efficient processes for licensure of professionals and certification of facilities.
#9: Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services: This service calls for ongoing evaluation of health programs to assess program effectiveness.
#10: Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems: This service includes continuous linkage with appropriate institutions of higher learning to conduct needed health services research.