1009.0 Applying Social Network Analysis to Quality Improvement in Public Health Collaboratives: Introduction to Methods and Tools

Saturday, October 29, 2011: 1:30 PM
LI Course
CE Hours: 3 contact hours
Statement of Purpose and Institute Overview: During a time of attenuating resources and continued need to address health disparities, it is common for public health organizations and other community agencies to join forces to address health disparities in their communities. A major challenge facing state and local public health agencies is how to partner with other organizations, agencies, and groups to collaboratively address goals in population health while effectively maximizing resource sharing of the partners involved. Today’s public health efforts require multiagency partnerships between both governmental and nongovernmental sectors to achieve this mission. However, the frequent reconfiguration of partnerships among government and nongovernmental agencies has left many public health managers struggling to find ways to both develop public health collaboratives and evaluate their success. While the benefits of collaboration have become widely accepted1, and the practice of collaboration is growing within the public health system, the ability to measure, document, and strategize to affect practice has been underdeveloped. The need for Quality Improvement in the area of collaboration is strong because collaboration has the potential to improve the processes of healthcare which can “create better outcomes, but also reduce the cost of delivering services by eliminating waste, unnecessary work, and rework”2. Additionally, current efforts toward voluntary accreditation, led by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) in 2009, identify collaboration and community engagement as an essential capability to provide vital public health services as a way to address health disparities. Without assessment and strategic action, public health departments face a roadblock in terms of how to use evaluation to improve collaborative processes. The goal of this Learning Institute is to provide a conceptual foundation and applicable tools for public health practitioners, community partners, and students/researchers to apply social network analysis methods to evaluate public health partnerships. We propose to teach audience members to understand and apply social network analysis methods in local public health collaborative efforts. Audience members will learn how to use the PARTNER (Program to Analyze, Record, and Track Networks to Enhance Relationships – www.partnertool.net) tool to collect data on community collaborative initiatives. We will conclude by introducing a Quality Improvement framework called Strategic Network Management. 1. Singer HH, Kegler MC. Assessing Interorganizational Networks as a Dimension of Community Capacity: Illustrations From a Community Intervention to Prevent Lead Poisoning. Health Education & Behavior. 2004;31(6):808-821. 2. Quality Assurance Project (2009): http://www.qaproject.org/methods/resmeasure.html
Session Objectives: Demonstrate the development of foundational conceptual and analytic skills in social network analysis methods as a tool to evaluate public health partnerships. Formulate questions relevant to evaluating local public health collaborations using a social network analysis approach. Identify resources and tools for implementing the quality improvement techniques of Strategic Collaborative Management (SCM).

Introductory Remarks
1:45 PM
2:30 PM
Demonstration of the PARTNER Tool
Danielle Varda, PhD
3:45 PM
Group Report Out of Simulation Exercise
Jessica Retrum, PhD, LCSW
Wrap up Discussion: Q&A

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: APHA-Learning Institute (APHA-LI)

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH) , Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)