What Works for Health

Policies and programs that can improve health

Price transparency initiatives for patients

Make pricing for hospital procedures and other health care services publicly available, often via websites, online databases, report cards, or similar tools

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Quality of Care

Primary seat belt enforcement laws

Allow law enforcement officials to stop drivers solely for failing to use a seat belt

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Community Safety

Professionally trained medical interpreters

Provide interpretation services for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) in outpatient and inpatient health care settings, following training and certification

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

Promise Academy Charter Schools

Create a school culture of high behavioral and academic expectations, with intense tutoring, increased teacher performance feedback, lengthened instruction time, and health care services

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

Proper drug disposal programs

Establish programs that accept expired, unwanted, or unused medicines from designated users and dispose of them responsibly

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use, Air and Water Quality

Public reporting of health care quality performance

Make clinician, clinic, hospital, long-term care facility and insurance plan performance on health care quality measures publicly available via report cards, reporting websites, or similar tools

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Quality of Care

Public reporting of health care-associated infections

Make health care facilities’ health care-associated or hospital-acquired infection (HAI) rates readily available to patients and providers

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Quality of Care

Public transportation systems

Introduce or expand transportation options that are available to the public and run on a scheduled timetable (e.g., buses, trains, ferries, rapid transit, etc.)

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

Publicly-funded pre-kindergarten programs

Provide publicly-funded pre-kindergarten (pre-K) education to 3- and 4-year-olds, through large-scale or universal efforts

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

Radon mitigation programs

Prevent radon from entering occupied buildings and reduce existing indoor air radon levels via soil depressurization, home or room pressurization, heat recovery ventilation, etc.

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Housing and Transit

Rain barrels

Use ready-made or home constructed barrel systems to collect and store rainwater from rooftops that would otherwise flow to storm drains and streams

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

Rain gardens & other bioretention systems

Establish bioretention systems (e.g., rain gardens, bioretention cells, green roofs, planter boxes, bioswales, etc.) to make city landscapes more permeable

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

Rapid re-housing programs

Transition families and individuals experiencing homelessness into permanent housing quickly, often with supports such as short-term financial assistance, case management, landlord negotiations, etc.

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Housing and Transit

Reach Out and Read

Partner with doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals to incorporate literacy support into regular well-child visits, especially in lower income communities

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

Recreational marijuana legalization

Allow adults to possess a limited amount of marijuana for personal, non-medical use

Evidence Rating:
Insufficient Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use, Community Safety

Recreational sports leagues for adults

Offer opportunities for adults to play athletic games such as soccer, softball, kickball, basketball, etc. at beginner, intermediate, and competitive levels

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

Refundable child and dependent care tax credit

Offer a refundable tax credit to working families with qualifying children or other dependents that receive care outside the home (e.g., a spouse with disabilities)

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Income

Rent regulation policies

Establish tenant protections via regulations to the housing rental market such as limits on rent increases and eviction protections for tenants with low incomes; typically via rent stabilization

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Housing and Transit

Reproductive life plans

Establish plans consistent with personal values and current life circumstances that set goals related to having or not having children; goals often change over time

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

Responsible beverage server training (RBS/RBST)

Educate owners, managers, servers, and sellers at alcohol establishments about strategies to avoid illegally selling alcohol to underage youth or intoxicated patrons

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