Public health clinical services have long been a healthcare safety net for the underserved and at risk populations in communities. Due to dwindling or stagnate resources, public health departments are having to do more with less. The challenge is meeting the needs of the community while providing quality services that also follow grant requirements. Applying quality improvement (QI) methods and tools to public health clinical services helps agencies more effectively use resources, and has been demonstrated to improve service delivery and customer service, as well as help meet grant requirements and/or nationally recognized best practice standards. It is now commonplace for public health direct services grants to not only require development and use of measurable performance standards, but also to expect that there are QI projects on-going throughout the life of the grant.
To assure ongoing and successful public health clinical services, it is critical to include clinic staff in the development and implementation of strategies for continuously assessing and improving program services and overall clinic performance. Who better to identify clinic problems and develop ongoing solutions than the staff that work at the clinic site everyday? To achieve this level of engagement, it is important to provide basic QI training to clinic staff. Local QI teams should be created using staff members representing all clinic disciplines who come in contact with clients during a clinic visit. To make QI training most valuable to ongoing clinic operations, participants should come to the training with an issue or clinic practice that they would like to improve.
Example types of work that the QI teams will complete as part of PHF’s training:
- Developing a statement of the problem
- Improving clinic flow by identifying bottlenecks and other problems with clinic processes
- Identifying outcomes that can be measured
- Using clinic data to motivate staff
- Identifying root causes of issues rather than “symptoms”
- Identifying solutions
- Prioritizing what to do first
- Developing a work plan - small changes in the service delivery process can often yield big results
- Determining actions to take and next steps
Focus on the basic tools of QI that help clinical teams achieve measurable results.
- Introduction to QI and its potential impact on service delivery
- Developing AIM statements
- Valuing customer needs
- Becoming a customer-centric organization
- Obtaining baseline data
- Using data to motivate staff
- Using the tools of QI: Flow Charts; Cause and Effect Diagrams; Solution and Effect Diagrams
- Prioritizing potential problem areas
- Learning data collection fundamentals
- Developing the project work plan
- Determining what constitutes success
- Documenting the impact of QI interventions
- Integrating QI into daily work
- Launching QI projects
Duration: 1.5 – 2 days
Ready to get started?