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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

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Q. What are the definitions for Best Practices, Promising Practices, Local Efforts, Policies, and Resources?

A: The following definitions apply to the different types of submissions.

Best Practice, i.e., Evidence-Based Practice
A program formally evaluated to be effective and able to be replicated and implemented with appropriate modifications in other settings.
Promising Practice
A program not formally evaluated (though formal evaluation may not be complete yet) but identified by experts as a program with results suggesting efficacy and worthy of further study in broader pilot implementation efforts.
Local Effort
A program or activity that has not been evaluated but is identified by local programs as producing positive results.
Information or material that might help develop a program or project in a community but cannot be defined as a Best Practice, Promising Practice, or Local Effort.
An ordinance, resolution, or law passed by a community that produces relevant, positive results.
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Q. How do Best Practices (i.e., Evidence-Based Practices) compare to other Evidence-Based Practices (e.g., CDC Community Guide) available?

A: BP/PP/LE was developed to be a clearinghouse of practices, policies, and resources among American Indian and Alaskan Native (AI/AN) communities and the general population. Not all practices are able to undergo the same level of review, a level dependent on the funding to develop the program, evaluate it, and review the evaluation findings. When a Best Practice is submitted, the program must also submit evaluation materials. Content published on BP/PP/LE has already been approved (e.g., CDC Community Guide findings) is the only exception to this. Subject Matter Experts/Consultants (SME/C) review the evaluation materials and decide whether the content should be considered a Best Practice or not. Other content types (e.g., Promising Practices, Local Efforts) are only reviewed for completeness before being published on the BP/PP/LE system.

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Q. Why should I access the BP/PP/LE system?

A: Communities interested in identifying and sharing content to promote the health among AI/AN populations should consider contributing to BP/PP/LE.

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Q. How do I search for information on a specific topic?

A: To search for all records in BP/PP/LE by IHS Service Area, Health Indicator (e.g., Excessive Alcohol Consumption), Keyword (e.g., Group Process), or search for a specific word or phrase, click on the link labeled Search Database on the left navigation bar.

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Q. When looking at the search page, what do the numbers in parentheses next to the search criteria mean?

A: For example, I see a filter labeled Albuquerque [10].

The numbers next to each search criterion indicates the total number of records in BP/PP/LE that meet that criterion.

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Q. On the Search Database page, why do I see a difference in the total number at the top of the page when comparing it to the total of the individual search criteria (e.g., Health Indicator)?

A: An individual submission for BP/PP/LE can have more than one Service Area, Keyword, and Health Indicator. As part of the approval process, IHS Staff review submitted content to categorize the submissions and help you in your search.

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Q. Can anyone submit a Best Practice (i.e., Evidence-Based Practice), Promising Practice, Local Effort, Policy, or Resource to the BP/PP/LE site?

A: Yes, anyone can submit content for review by staff for public display.

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Q. What happens when I make an electronic submission?

A: When you submit content electronically, the BP/PP/LE sends a confirmation email to the primary contact and another email to the relevant SME/Cs requesting them to review your submission.

Once your submission is approved, your submission will appear live on the web page. The primary contact will receive an email with a hyperlink to the submission details.

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Q. Will I be notified when my content is approved?

A: Yes, the primary contact for a submission will receive an email when the submission is approved.

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Q. Can I start a submission and return to complete it later?

A: Yes, you can save a submission and some notes and return to it later.

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Q. What does it mean when my submission is returned?

A: The reviewers check submissions to make sure they are complete, appropriate, and properly categorized. The reviewer is unable to make changes to the submission. If your submission is incomplete, is inappropriate, or needs to be recategorized, the reviewer will return it to you with notes explaining what needs to be done before the submission can be approved.

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Q. Is IHS recommending that I only use content that is approved on BP/PP/LE?

A: No, communities and programs are responsible to those they serve. BP/PP/LE is intended only as a clearinghouse to provide resources that programs and communities might consider with improving the communities’ health. There might be other resources available that are not yet available on the BP/PP/LE site.

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Q. How can I become involved with BP/PP/LE?

A: There are four main ways that you can become involved with BP/PP/LE.

  • Use the system and provide comments for improvement.
  • Submit content for consideration to the BP/PP/LE system.
  • Become an SME/C.
  • Tell others interested in increasing the health of AI/AN communities about BP/PP/LE.
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Q. What is RSS and how do I use it?

A: The Really Simple Syndicate is one way to keep up to date with the BP/PP/LE content that most interests you. As new content is approved in BP/PP/LE, the RSS feed is updated. This way, once you sign up for the RSS feed, you no longer need to access the BP/PP/LE website to see if new content has been approved. The BP/PP/LE RSS feed allows you to receive alerts for all new content or set filters to refine the submissions included in the feed.

Here are the instructions for setting up an RSS feed.

  1. Click the link labeled Search Database on the left navigation bar.
  2. If you wish to filter the submissions that are included in the feed, adjust the filter criteria appropriately and click the button labeled Search.
  3. Once the search results appear, locate the link labeled Custom Search Links in the Stay Connected box on the right-hand side. Review the next instruction before you do anything with that link.
  4. How do you want to subscribe to the RSS?
    • If you are using Internet Explorer or Firefox and you want to subscribe to the feed using your web browser, click the link and follow the instructions that appear for subscribing to the feed.
    • If you want to subscribe to the feed using your email client, right-click the link and select the appropriate option below:
      • In Internet Explorer, Copy Shortcut.
      • In Firefox, Copy Link Location.
      • In Google Chrome, Copy link address.

      This puts the URL for the RSS feed on the clipboard so you can paste it in the appropriate spot in your email client.

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Q. How do I contact BP/PP/LE staff?

A: Click the link labeled Contact Us on the left navigation bar and complete the form to contact BP/PP/LE staff.

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Q. What do I do when I receive an email from the BP/PP/LE site asking me to review content?

A: If you received such an email directly from the BP/PP/LE website, you have been registered as an SME/C. If the email was forwarded to you, you may contact BP/PP/LE staff and ask to be approved as an SME/C.

For instructions on how to review submissions and current policy, please contact BP/PP/LE staff.

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Q. How do I become a Subject Matter Expert/Consultant (SME/C)?

A: Here are the instructions for becoming an SME/C.

  1. Create an IHS Web Login account if you do not already have one.
  2. Log into your IHS Web Login account.
  3. Visit the BP/PP/LE website.
  4. Contact BP/PP/LE staff with your request to become an SME/C.
  5. BP/PP/LE staff should contact you requesting to validate your credentials and experience. If you meet the requirements, BP/PP/LE staff will enable your IHS Web Login account so you can approve submissions.
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