Print version ISSN 0213-9111
GUIX OLIVER, Joan. Quality in public health. Gac Sanit [online]. 2005, vol.19, n.4, pp.325-332. ISSN 0213-9111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0213-91112005000400010.
Based on the concepts of quality and public health and of public health organizations as service organizations, the advisability of establishing a reference model for quality in public health, incorporating objective criteria, indicators and standards, is discussed. The 2 main models of quality management in the field of service organizations, ISO 9001-2000 and EFQM, are reviewed and their advantages and disadvantages with respect to their application in public health services are contrasted. Based on the Institute of Medicine's definition of the functions of public health, we followed the approach of the Delphi study of the World Health Organization and the Assessment Protocol for Excellence in Public Health (APEX PH) model. The NPHPSP of the Centers for Disease Control is described in detail. We propose the use of this model as the reference model for quality management and improvement in public health organizations. Finally, we conclude that the approval of the Law of Cohesion and Quality of the National Health System by the Spanish parliament, which lays out the eight main health services that the National Health System should provide, would allow the NPHSPS to be adapted to our environment as a tool for quality management of Spanish public health services.
Keywords : Quality; Public health services; Key functions in public health.