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Programs and Services
The Community Guide can be used in the program planning process. Once planners identify their community health issues and draft measurable program objectives, the Community Guide can be used to select evidence-based interventions to help achieve those objectives.
For ideas on how to use the Community Guide in program planning, see our Program Planning Resource. See our Community Guide in Action stories to read how others have used Task Force findings to improve their communities.
Preventive Health Care Services
Medical, dental, nursing, mental health and other health care providers may find the Community Guide is a valuable complement to the Guide to Clinical Preventive Services that can assist them in:
- Adopting evidence-based strategies to improve the health of individuals and populations
- Promoting partnerships between practitioners and government, community, business, and voluntary organizations to plan and implement effective strategies in multiple health topics
- Combining information on what has worked with knowledge of a local community and healthcare system to design interventions that are tailored to local needs and realities
Here are a few examples of Community Guide recommendations you can use to improve health and prevent disease in your practice or community.
Reducing tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure:
- Reducing out-of-pocket costs for evidence-based cessation treatments
- Quitline interventions
- Interventions to increase the unit price for tobacco products
- Smoke-free policies
Increasing appropriate vaccination:
- Standing orders for delivery of vaccines to adults and children
- Provider reminders
- Immunization information systems
Reducing cancer morbidity and mortality:
- Client reminders to increase screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer
- Interventions in outdoor recreational and tourism settings to prevent skin cancer
Reducing tooth decay in children and adolescents:
Employee Health and Wellness
Purchasing Health Care Services
Purchasers of healthcare services must make difficult trade-offs and funding decisions, often working with limited budgets for health care in general, and prevention in particular. Many employers face information gaps that make investing in prevention difficult. Valid effectiveness data is often not readily available to employers, and economic data can be scarce.
The Community Guide helps address these gaps. It can be used as a resource to construct and select health benefit plans for clinical and preventive services, because it:
- Provides information on a spectrum of prevention services that work for groups of people, as well as cost effectiveness data where available
- Covers many evidence-based findings that speak to employers' health concerns and cost drivers such as:
- Reducing tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure (e.g., smoking cessation services)
- Increasing appropriate vaccination (e.g., flu)
- Diabetes prevention and control (e.g., case management)
- Informs the full scope of clinical and preventive health purchasing decisions when used alongside A Purchaser’s Guide to Clinical Preventive Services: Moving Science into Coverage [PDF 216 kB]
Worksite Health Promotion
The Community Guide is also a valuable resource when designing and implementing certain employee wellness policies and interventions, such as:
- Smoke-free policies to reduce tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure
- Point-of-decision prompts to encourage use of stairs
- Assessment of health risks with feedback plus health education with or without additional interventions to change employees' health
Supporting Local Community Health
Employees' health and productivity are affected by the communities in which they live. Employers can promote the health of employees and their families by partnering with city councils, school boards, and other local and state organizations to promote successful community health campaigns and programs. The Community Guide includes many recommendations for effective community health interventions, such as:
- Community water fluoridation to prevent dental caries
- Vaccination programs in schools and organized child care centers
- Enhanced school-based physical education
Read how three different groups applied Task Force recommendations to improve employee health:
- Evidence-based Recommendations Get Minnesotans in the Groove
- Investing in Worksite Wellness for Employees
- Maryland Businesses Support Worksite Wellness Effort to Combat Chronic Disease
Integrating Clinical Care and Community Health: Delivering Health. Fielding JE, Teutsch SM. JAMA July 15, 2009, 302(3):317-319.
7 Ways Physicians Can Improve the Delivery of Preventive Care to Their Patients: Health Systems Recommendations [PDF - 61 kB] from the Guide to Community Preventive Services
Healthier Worksite Initiative from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Commentary on the Emerging Guide to Community Preventive Services from a Health Promotion Perspective [PDF - 124 kB] Green LW , Kreuter MW. Am J Prev Med 2000: 18; 7-9.
A Purchaser’s Guide to Clinical Preventive Services: Moving Science into Coverage [PDF - 2.08 MB] . Campbell KP, Lanza A, Dixon R, Chattopadhyay S, Molinari N, Finch RA, editors. A Purchasers Guide to Clinical Preventive Services: Moving Science into Coverage. Washington, DC: National Business Group on Health; 2006