Online Program

Enhancing data surveillance of health disparities in a state public health agency using quality improvement processes

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Susan Logan, MS MPH, Public Health Systems Improvement, Connecticut Department of Public Health, Hartford, CT
Margaret M. Hynes, PhD, MPH, Connecticut Department of Public Health, Hartford, CT
Ava N. Nepaul, MA, MPH, CPH, Asthma Program, Connecticut Department of Public Health, Hartford, CT
Kristin Sullivan, MA, Public Health Systems Improvement, Connecticut Department of Public Health, Hartford, CT
There is a renewed focus on improving population health that looks at health equity as a major contributing factor. An enhanced statewide data infrastructure is a key element in ensuring that data collected on health and related social status are accurate, standardized, and complete. At the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH), a quality improvement (QI) process was used to find solutions to a data quality problem pertaining to the collection of race, ethnicity, gender, and age information. This QI effort ties in with the agency's strategic plan and is linked to the health equity initiatives strongly supported by the agency. The QI initiative, conducted April to November 2012, identified databases that were not compliant with the 2008 CT DPH Policy on Collecting Sociodemographic Data. The policy, which set standards for the collection of sociodemographic data, is based on the 1997 federal Office of Management and Budget directive 15. Modifications to databases would increase the capacity of sharing, comparing, and analyzing data across databases to better understand health disparities in CT. During the project, five major DPH databases were modified, increasing the compliance rate from 4% to 10%, a better than expected result. In addition, an important outcome of the QI initiative was a list of recommendations and action items to senior leadership that centered on enhancing the quality of sociodemographic data collected and reported by the agency. This presentation will address the successes and challenges of implementing the action items as a continuous QI process and plan.

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe the compliance of state health department databases with a sociodemographic data collection policy aimed at eliminating health disparities Discuss how a quality improvement initiative was used to identify reasons for database noncompliance and extract solutions for sociodemographic data collection policy adherence Discuss the challenges of making internal and external sociodemographic data collection policy changes Describe how data quality improvement processes can be sustained over time

Keyword(s): Health Disparities, Data Collection

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the epidemiologist for the Public Health Systems Improvement unit at the Connecticut Department of Public Health. I have acted as quality improvement (QI) project leader and expert QI consultant on a number of quality improvement initiatives within the agency for a year and a half. Also during this time, I have attended QI and performance management-related courses and have presented QI project and return on investment results at national QI meetings.
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.