Barbara A. Brookmyer, MD, MPH is Health Officer for Frederick County, Maryland. She previously served as Deputy Health Officer on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in Somerset County and Dorchester County. While working for the Health Resources and Services Administration, she developed policies to increase the availability of primary care clinicians and other health professionals in underserved areas. She is board certified in family medicine.
Our quality improvement (QI) journey started with a QI plan based on Public Health Accreditation Board
(PHAB) standards. It progressed to training at our health department provided by Harry Lenderman
, QI expert with the Public Health Foundation (PHF). Harry taught us a great trick to identify and build momentum around QI activities that has made quite an impact on our culture. Harry told us to stomp twice each time we identify an opportunity for QI. When we hear “stomp, stomp” in a meeting, we know we have just identified a need to look at the data to better inform what we are doing. It has been quite infectious.
These days it is difficult to have any conversation without identifying QI opportunities. When we stomp in meetings where people are unfamiliar with Harry’s training, it provides a new opportunity for us to tell the story about Harry driving home the need to use data and to keep spreading the wisdom.
Our staff has learned that QI is a good thing, and not just for accreditation purposes. We hold “Gallery Walks” in our health department. Each division displays at least one storyboard showcasing a recent QI effort. The March 2015 Gallery Walk included a storyboard from the Infant and Toddlers Program
featuring a Cause and Effect (Fishbone) Diagram to identify ways to serve the target number of children from birth to age three years. Monthly monitoring has confirmed that recent performance has exceeded their goal.
Today, we see active QI engagement within all agency divisions. Our PHAB site visitors even identified QI as one of our top three strengths (along with community engagement and communication, both internal and external).
We are honored to help continue spreading the word. Our folks are stomping all the time.
Gallery Walk, March 17, 2015
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