Measuring Researching and Monitoring the Quality of Health Care - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention
cdc national safety statistics
The CDC is the primary HHS agency responsible for ensuring the health and safety of the nation's citizens in the United States and abroad. CDC responsibilities include researching and monitoring health, detecting and investigating health problems, researching and instituting prevention programs, developing health policies, ensuring environmental health and safety, and offering education and training.
CDC headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia. However, two thousand of the more than eighty-five hundred CDC employees, representing 170 disciplines, serve throughout the country at forty-seven state health departments and forty-five locations outside the United States. In addition to research scientists, physicians, nurses, and
other health practitioners, CDC employs epidemiologists, who study disease in human populations. Epidemiologists measure disease occurrences, such as incidence and prevalence of disease, and work with clinical researchers to answer questions about causation—how particular diseases arise and the factors that contribute to their development—whether new treatments are effective, and how to prevent specific diseases.
Twelve centers, institutes, and offices make up the CDC. Among the best known are the National Center for Health Statistics, which collects vital statistics, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which seeks to prevent workplace injuries and accidents through research and prevention. Julie Louise Gerberding, MD, MPH, was named director of the CDC in 2002.
CDC Actions to Protect the Health of the Nation
The CDC is part of the first response to natural disasters, outbreaks of disease, and other public health emergencies. One recent CDC action is the 1999 identification of the West Nile virus (encephalitis) and methods to control this disease. Figure 4.4 is a map created by the CDC Division of Vector-Borne Diseases that shows the distribution of reported cases of West Nile virus infection as of September 17, 2004. Other examples are identification and education about effective strategies for preventing school and domestic violence and the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which detected breast cancer and prevented cervical cancer in more than forty thousand women from 1991 to September 1999.
Examples of CDC efforts to educate and communicate vital health information are its publications Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) and the Emerging Infectious Disease Journal that alert the medical community to the presence of health risks, outbreaks, and preventive measures. In addition to providing vital statistics (births, deaths, and related health data), the CDC monitors Americans' health using surveys to measure the frequency of behaviors that increase health risk, such as smoking, substance abuse, and physical inactivity, and compiles data about the use of health care resources such as inpatient hospitalization rates and visits to hospital emergency departments.
CDC partners with public and private, national, state, and local agencies and organizations to deliver services. Examples of these collaborative efforts include the global battle against HIV/AIDS via Leadership and Investment in Fighting an Epidemic (LIFE) and a ten-agency initiative to address the problem of preventing further increases in antimicrobial infections—infections that resist treatment with antibiotics.