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SHIP : mechanics-ship

State Health Improvement Process (SHIP)

Mechanics of the SHIP

Work on the 2011-2014 State Health Improvement Process (SHIP) began in January 2011. The goal of the State Health Improvement Plan is to provide a framework for accountability, local action, and public engagement to make progress in Maryland’s health.

Relationship to Healthy People 2020
Healthy People 2020 provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For three decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to encourage collaborations across sectors; guide individuals toward making informed health decisions; and measure the impact of prevention activities.

The SHIP focuses on a small subset of CDC’s Healthy People 2020 objectives so that (1) we can focus on factors that are most critical to health equity and improving the health of all Marylanders, (2) and we can measure our success and improve our leadership if our plans aren’t meeting our goals.

It is anticipated that in 2014, the State of Maryland will put together a 2015-2019 update.

How We Decided on SHIP Measures
SHIP targets were selected after reviewing dozens of recent state, local and national plans and indicators, consulting with state officials, meeting with health and community leaders to discuss health outcomes and factors where the state does worse than its neighbors, and considering 260 comments received on a draft set of measures during April and May 2011.

The current measures include numerous changes that resulted from public input. For example, the draft Vision Area 2, entitled “Ensure that Maryland Indoor and Community Environments are Safe and Support Health” was divided into two vision areas, “Ensure that Maryland Social Environments are Safe and Support Health” and “Ensure that Maryland Physical Environments are Safe and Support Health.”

Through ongoing public feedback, SHIP measures may be adjusted in the future.

In addition, we identified a number of promising measures that do not have a reliable data source for inclusion at this time. These include health literacy of health consumers and providers, prevalence of hepatitis C, the use of wellness policies in schools, and access to community based behavioral health services. As reliable data sources become available, the state will update the SHIP.

State Support for the SHIP
In June 2011, more than 60 staff from DHMH and 15 other state government agencies convened to chart a course for cross-cutting state level action to advance the SHIP objectives. Numerous agencies will also assist in providing tools to localities to help with local action to improve health.

What the SHIP Does Not Include
The SHIP’s focus is on critical prevention factors and population health outcomes. Other key aspects of health care oversight are reviewed elsewhere. Specifically:

  Measures of health care costs and quality will be addressed in a StateStat template in Fall 2011.
  Emergency preparedness is part of the state’s emergency response system, overseen by MIEMSS.

A Note on Public Health Infrastructure
A robust public health infrastructure is needed to support the SHIP. The Public Health section of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is reorganizing to include a dedicated data team and divisions based on important causes of disease and health outcomes. The new organizational chart will be posted here in the future.

Overarching SHIP Resources