259339 Using financial data, ratios and trend analysis for quality improvement in a rural local public health agency

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 9:10 AM - 9:30 AM

Cheryll Lesneski, DrPH , Public Health Leadership Program, UNC School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
During the summer of 2010 a financial assessment of a rural public health agency was conducted amidst concerns about the direction of the agency and its ability to remain solvent over the long term. Three years of financial data from the agency was collected, reviewed for quality, and analyzed using financial ratio trend analysis. A faculty member from the Gillings School of Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill and three graduate students made multiple trips to the public health agency, interviewing staff, and collecting employee satisfaction data, in addition to the financial data. An analysis of the financial data indicated areas for improvement. The US DHHS nine quality aims for public health were used as a framework to pinpoint areas where the director, program managers, and fiscal staff could work to improve their overall financial health. Some specific areas identified for improving financial performance included: 1) tracking changes in financial condition; 2)identifying emerging financial problems in time to take action; 3) identifying existing problems that are not obvious to the agency's staff; 4) developing solutions to deal with identified problems; 5) projecting future funding needs; 6) presenting a clear image of the agency's strengths and weaknesses for use with key stakeholders; 7) operating more strategically by linking community priorities with funding and public health services; 8) offering a budgeting perspective that is long term in nature; and 9) communicating agency goals and the funding streams with staff. The presenter will share specific strategies for improving financial performance using financial data and ratio analysis, one of several methods for improving overall financial management of a local public health agency.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
Describe financial data and ratio analysis Evaluate the financial status of a rural local public health department Demonstrate the use of public health quality aims and quality improvement methods for closing gaps in financial performance

Keywords: Financing, Quality Improvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I studied public finance at the graduate level, my disseration includes financial indicators of performance for public health agencies, and I have been developing the field of public health financial ratios and analysis for 7 years.
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.