249657 Making the case for voluntary health department accreditation in Illinois

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:50 AM

Vamsi Vasireddy, MD, MPH, DrPHc , School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Voluntary health department accreditation has been given plenty of national attention lately. Public Health Accreditation Board has recently finished its beta testing and the results are just pouring in. In wake of the national attention being given to accreditation, it is time to examine what accreditation can do for participating local health departments (LHD). This presentation examines the benefits of undergoing accreditation from a quality improvement (QI) perspective. Using Illinois as a case study and the National Association for City and County Health Officials (NACCHO) profile surveys as an indicator of QI, the abstract explores the changes in quality improvement initiatives over the years among the LHDs in Illinois. The state of Illinois has long had a certification program in place. Over the years, the notion among LHDs is that the certification system has become a mere documentation exercise. The presentation tests the hypothesis that the current certification system in Illinois has not been instrumental in initiating QI activities within LHDs and it is time to consider Accreditation as an alternative. The presentation also examines Accreditation as being a potential performance management system using the Turning Point model as a framework. Different elements of the Turning Point model will be used to analyze if Accreditation has the potential to function as a performance management system. The presenter will finally make a case that since Accreditation has the potential to function as a performance management (and QI) system, and since the existing certification system in Illinois is not initiating QI activities, it is time to look at Accreditation as a viable alternative.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Public health administration or related administration
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Discuss current mechanisms in place to ensure quality improvement in local health departments. Compare the existing certification process to the proposed national health department accreditation process. Analyze the change in quality improvement initiatives over a period of time, in Illinois, to understand the significance of accreditation.

Keywords: Accreditation, Quality Improvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The work being presented is being conducted as a part of my doctoral dissertation. I have designed, initiated, and conducted this project successfully. In addition, I am a public health practitioner with 10 years of experience in the field of quality improvement.
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.