Definition of quality improvement in public health:
“Quality improvement in public health is the use of a deliberate and defined improvement process, such as Plan-Do-Check-Act, which is focused on activities that are responsive to community needs and improving population health. It refers to a continuous and ongoing effort to achieve measureable improvements in the efficiency, effectiveness, performance, accountability, outcomes, and other indicators of quality in services or processes which achieve equity and improve the health of the community”1
Quality improvement is useful for professionals, teams, and organizations to improve their performance, efficiency and effectiveness. Many industries beyond public health, such as business and healthcare, regularly use quality improvement techniques to improve performance and service delivery. Quality improvement in public health can help teams use resources more effectively, and has been demonstrated to improve service delivery and customer service, and help meet national public health standards, such as those for voluntary public health department accreditation.
Currently, quality improvement is one of PHF’s three main focus areas, in addition to performance management and workforce development. PHF continuously produces quality improvement tools, resources, and services to solve the emerging and pressing public health issues of today, and provide services and technical assistance to coach public health practitioners to learn and use quality improvement techniques in their ongoing work.
Several ways PHF can help you learn and practice quality improvement today include:
- Quality Improvement Quick Guide: Assess your familiarity with quality improvement, identify your quality improvement needs, discover resources tailored to your knowledge and experience level, and find quality improvement resources geared toward improving public health practice
- Accreditation Preparation and Support: Access key resources to support quality improvement and performance management requirements for the Public Health Accreditation Board Standards and Measures
- Quality Improvement Programs: See how PHF is and has helped organizations utilize quality improvement tools and techniques to improve public health practice
- Quality Improvement Resources: Use PHF’s ever-expanding list of quality improvement in public health resources, including case stories, publications, and tools
- Quality Improvement Coursework on TRAIN: Access courses tagged with the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals and track your quality improvement learning on the TRAIN Learning Network
- Quality Improvement Technical Assistance: Get expert help from PHF’s robust team of quality improvement experts and staff who have trained thousands of public health professionals working in hundreds of health departments, including providing onsite assistance to over 30 percent of accredited health departments
1 Riley, W., Moran, J., Corso, L., Beitsch, L., Bialek, R., and Cofsky, A. Defining Quality Improvement in Public Health. J Public Health Management Practice 2010; 16(1)5-7.