Domain 9 in the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) Standards and Measures, Version 1.5, requires a health department to evaluate and continuously improve health department processes, programs, and interventions. Quality Improvement (QI) is an integral component of the department's performance management system and has long been recognized as a successful method to streamline processes, increase productivity and improve services within an organization. The agency's QI Council was chartered and the agency's QI Plan was developed to meet accreditation standards and to advance a culture of quality within the agency.
Quality Improvement Council
With visible leadership support, a cross-jurisdictional and multi-level QI Council was established in August 2014 to develop and implement the department's QI Plan. The responsibilities of the Council include:
- Implement, evaluate, and update the QI Plan.
- Establish and implement a QI Project tracking and monitoring procedure.
- Foster and support a culture of QI at ADPH.
- Measure change in the culture of QI within the organization.
- Review customer satisfaction feedback to identify opportunities for improvement.
- Review QI performance indicators in the department's Performance Dashboard periodically to ensure progress toward specific, achievable QI goals and objectives.
- Disseminate information about quality and performance improvement results.
- Improve the capacity of staff to use QI tools and processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness of public health processes, programs and interventions.
- Inform and communicate QI progress and activities to leadership and staff.
Performance Management and Quality Improvement Plan
The QI Council members engaged in a QI Plan Development Workshop conducted by the Public Health Foundation in September 2014. The QI Plan was drafted following that workshop and the draft was revised continuously based on review, training, research and input from QI Council members. The QI Plan for April 2015 - March 2016 was approved by the QI Council in March 2015. The will be revised and improved annually based on various progress reports, measures of the department's QI maturity, and lessons learned.
- Performance Management System (October 2015)
- Quality Improvement Plan (April 2015 - March 2016)
- Quality Improvement Plan (April 2016 - March 2021)
Performance Management and Quality Improvement Training
- Embracing Quality in Public Health: A Practitioner's Performance Management Primer (Michigan) - This free, online performance management training was developed by the Michigan Public Health Institute specifically with and for state, local, and tribal public health practitioners. It is designed to help public health agencies advance understanding and use of performance management and quality improvement. Filled with examples and guides on creating performance measures and quality improvement basics, the training can help public health agencies improve the processes used to implement their work and serve their community. This free training is self-paced and is estimated to take approximately one hour to complete.
- Introduction to Quality Improvement at Alabama Public Health - A 30-minute training video designed to teach ADPH employees about the QI process and its importance to public health. If you would like to learn more about quality improvement efforts at ADPH, please email Carrie.Allison@adph.state.al.us.
Conducting Quality Improvement Projects
The ADPH QI Plan encourages each Bureau/Office/Center/Area to complete at least one QI project annually that focuses on analyzing and improving processes, programs, or interventions directly related to a strategic priority. The QI Tracking and Monitoring Procedure outlines the process to initiate a QI project and engage support of the QI Council. The Quality Improvement Project Form and AIM Statement Template are the forms used to initiate and track the project. More information about QI initiatives and the Plan-Do-Check-Act model of QI are included in the QI Plan.
- QI Project Tracking and Monitoring Procedure (August 2015)
- Quality Improvement Project Form (January 2016)
- AIM Statement Template (August 2015)
- QI Maturity Survey (October 2015)
Alabama's Health Articles
Alabama's Health, the newsletter for employees of the Alabama Department of Public Health, covers quality improvement training, resources, and success stories.
- Madison County Health Department Vector Control Program Succeeds Using Performance Improvement Initiative (March 2016)
- Public Health Area 10 Leaders Promote a CQI Environment (November 2015)
- Attendees Take 'Kaizen' Approach to Quality Improvement (August 2015)
- Department Enhances Quality Improvement Culture, Council Formed and Plan Made (May 2015)
- Quality Improvement (QI) Training helps Leaders Improve Customer Service (July 2013)
Quality Improvement Resources
Following are links to helpful performance management and quality improvement resources.
- Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange (PHQIX) is an online community designed to be a communication hub for public health professionals interested in learning and sharing information about quality improvement (QI) in public health.
- Measuring Customer Satisfaction is a toolkit developed by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) that walks the user through 9 steps of planning, implementation, and acting upon results.
- Guide to Prioritization Techniques is a guide from the NACCHO that provides five widely-used options for prioritization, including guidance on which technique best fits the needs of your agency, step-by-step instructions for implementation, and practical examples.
- The ABCs of PDCA is an overview of the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle improvement process often used in public health quality improvement projects.
Page last updated: January 16, 2019