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Policy Analysis

We conduct policy analysis in order to improve public health agencies’ ability to interpret, understand and implement policies. Public health relies on policy to influence the health of populations, from safe food preparation conditions in restaurants to mandatory reporting for specific infectious diseases.

Policy analysis is a discipline within social science that uses qualitative and quantitative methodologies to study social issues and provide clarity as to the purpose of laws or regulations. Policy analysis also makes recommendations that support coordinated and consistent implementation of laws.

PHII supports the work of public health practitioners primarily through policy assessment and implementation.

  • Policy assessment: We review existing policy for comparison and synthesis. This can lead to actions such as coordinating efforts across jurisdictions.
  • Policy implementation: We conduct assessment activities that support awareness, communication and implementation of policies as they are coming into effect. These activities can include assessing agencies’ readiness and capability to implement new policies.

Examples of policy work at PHII

Supporting implementation of Affordable Care Act/HITECH/Meaningful Use:

  • Designed and conducted readiness assessment for public health agencies.
  • Evaluated policy impact for public health.
  • Designed and disseminated communication messages about impact of ACA policy and implications for public health agencies.
  • Continue to monitor and analyze national informatics policy issues for public health and to coordinate responses. 


PHII conducts analysis of existing laws and regulations regarding information exchange across jurisdictional boundaries, including opt-in/opt-out for immunization, which vary by jurisdiction and state.