What Works for Health

Policies and programs that can improve health

Paid sick leave laws

Require employers in an affected jurisdiction to provide paid time off for employees to use when ill or injured

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

Parents as Teachers (PAT)

Support home visits that teach parents about early childhood development and effective parenting strategies, with child development screenings, parental meetings, and links to community resources

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

Parish nursing

Position registered nurses within a parish or similar faith community, or in a health care system to serve as a liaison to congregations; also called faith community nursing or congregational nursing

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Access to Care

Patient financial incentives for preventive care

Use payments, vouchers, and other incentives to encourage patients to undergo preventive care such as screenings, vaccinations, etc.

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

Patient navigators

Provide culturally sensitive assistance and care coordination, and guide patients through available medical, insurance, and social support; also called systems navigators

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

Patient safety checklists

Use visual tools to prompt safe practices, standardize communication, and ensure no step is forgotten before or during a medical procedure or other health care situation

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

Patient shared decision making

Support joint decision making between health care practitioners and patients through shared decision making (SDM); part of patient-centered care

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

Payday loan regulations

Regulate small, short-term loans that must be repaid by a borrower’s next pay day via bans, caps on maximum interest rates and loan amounts, minimum loan terms, truth in lending statements, etc.

Evidence Rating:
Insufficient Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Income

Permeable pavement projects

Use pervious concrete, porous asphalt, permeable interlocking pavers, open-jointed blocks or cells, or other permeable pavement in individual or commercial development efforts; also called porous or pervious pavement

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Air and Water Quality

Physically active classrooms

Incorporate physical activity breaks, classroom energizers, or moving activities into academic lessons, usually for elementary students

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

Places for physical activity

Modify local environments to support physical activity, increase access to new or existing facilities for physical activity, or build new facilities

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

Playground safety regulations

Adopt regulations that address the safety of playground environment, equipment, and materials, as well as adult supervision

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

Point-of-decision prompts for physical activity

Place motivational signs on or near stairwells, elevators, and escalators that encourage individuals to use stairs

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

Point-of-purchase prompts for healthy foods

Place motivational signs on posters, front of package labels, or shelf labels near fruits, vegetables and other items that encourage individuals to purchase healthier food options

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

Practice facilitation for primary care

Engage practice coaches or facilitators to work with primary care clinic staff to redesign clinical practices, organize quality improvement efforts, improve communication, share best practices, etc.

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

Preconception education interventions

Provide women with information about the risks and benefits of behaviors that affect their health before, during, and after pregnancy

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Access to Care

Preschool & child care Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS)

Support quality improvement efforts in early child care and preschool via financial incentives, standards, processes to monitor standards and ensure compliance, etc.

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

Preschool education programs

Provide center-based programs that support cognitive and social-emotional growth among children who are not old enough to enter formal schooling

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Education

Preschool programs with family support services

Provide center-based programs that support cognitive and social-emotional growth among young children from low income families, with supports such as home visiting or parental skills training

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Education

Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs)

Use databases, housed in state agencies, to track prescribing and dispensing of Schedule II, III, IV, and V drugs and other controlled substances

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use