206226 Quality improvement in public health: A collaborative learning approach

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 9:10 AM

Colleen McKay Wharton, MA, CHES , NJ Health Officers Association, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ
Quality improvement in governmental public health? Once a foreign concept and a seemingly inapplicable effort in the realm of governmental public health, legitimate quality improvement (QI) initiatives are now becoming reality for at least 15 local, county and regional health departments in New Jersey. These 15 departments serve over two million NJ residents. The NJ Collaborative for Excellence in Public Health (NJCEPH) is led by the NJ Health Officers Association (NJHOA), in partnership with UMDNJ-School of Public Health and the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services. The NJHOA is the only professional association to have received a three-year Multi-State Learning Collaborative (MLC-3) grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Network of Public Health Institutes. The goal of the project is to understand how quality improvement processes may be implemented in local health departments. NJCEPH has facilitated workforce development training to understand and apply quality improvement methods in public health. With an emphasis on the Plan-Do-Study-Act model and root cause analysis, two collaborative learning groups have begun implementing QI processes within their respective agencies. These processes are being applied specifically in the areas of customer satisfaction and the reduction of vaccine-preventable childhood diseases. In addition to the QI activities, the collaboratives are also preparing for the national voluntary accreditation process, expected to begin in 2011.

Attendees in this session will learn about the quality improvement models applied in these public health agencies, as well as the benefits and challenges of participating in the collaborative learning process.

Learning Objectives:
Describe how quality improvement models can be applied in a collaborative learning process Identify two planning models which can be applied to quality improvement processes

Keywords: Local Public Health Agencies, Quality Improvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the project consultant for this initiative. I am a Masters-level public health professional, with 15 years of experience in public health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.