What Works for Health

Policies and programs that can improve health

Community-wide physical activity campaigns

Engage a variety of partners in a highly visible, multi-component effort to increase physical activity, often with efforts to address cardiovascular disease risk factors

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

Competitive pricing for healthy foods

Assign higher costs to non-nutritious foods relative to nutritious foods via incentives, subsidies, or price discounts for healthy foods and beverages or disincentives or price increases for unhealthy choices

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

Complete Streets & streetscape design initiatives

Enhance streetscapes with greater sidewalk coverage and walkway connectivity, street crossing safety features, traffic calming measures, and other design elements

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Housing and Transit, Diet and Exercise

Comprehensive clinic-based programs for pregnant & parenting teens

Address the needs of teenage mothers via clinic-based programs that provide health care and family planning services as well as case management, counseling, and other supports

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Sexual Activity

Comprehensive firearm background checks

Require checks of a broad set of disqualifying criteria (e.g., misdemeanor convictions, domestic violence restraining orders, and juvenile convictions) prior to handgun purchase

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Community Safety

Comprehensive risk reduction sexual education

Provide information about contraception and protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in classroom or community settings

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Sexual Activity

Comprehensive school reform

Implement a coordinated effort to overhaul school operation, integrating curriculum, instruction, professional development, parent involvement, classroom and school management; also called school wide or whole school reform

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Education

Computer-based interventions to prevent HIV and other STIs

Provide tailored health information and computer-mediated decision making, behavior change, and emotional support via interactive programs

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Sexual Activity

Computerized clinical decision support systems (CDSS)

Provide health care providers with patient-specific prompts or warnings, treatment guidelines, automatic medication dosing calculators, or reports of overdue tests and medications via electronic tools

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Quality of Care

Computerized provider order entry (CPOE)

Allow health care providers to enter orders or prescriptions (e.g., imaging studies, laboratory tests, admissions, referrals, etc.) into a computer system; also called electronic prescribing

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Quality of Care