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Advancing the public health workforce to achieve organizational excellence
From Paper to Practice: Seeking Opportunities to Pilot New Oral Health Driver Diagram

Date: 8/15/2014 11:56 AM

Related Categories: Quality Improvement

Topic: Performance Management and Quality Improvement

Tag: Quality Improvement, Healthcare, Driver Diagram, Oral Health

In September 2013, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) funded the Public Health Foundation (PHF) to develop the Population Health Driver Diagram to Increase Use of Oral Health Care in an effort to address the Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicator, “Increase the proportion of children, adolescents, and adults who used the oral health care system in the past year.” By identifying the primary and secondary drivers of this health goal, this population health driver diagram can be used by communities to promote alignment of activities across the public health and health care sectors as they collaboratively address this common community health  challenge.
To assist with this initiative, we convened an interdisciplinary, national team of experts to join the Oral Health Care Advisory Group. The group was tasked with using their collective expertise to revise and finalize the Population Health Driver Diagram to Increase Use of Oral Health Care. When the group of adept professionals in quality improvement, oral health, epidemiology, and public health practice met, it quickly became clear that their success in refining the driver diagram would be contingent on their ability to collaborate and align their perspectives. The group’s enthusiasm grew as the members realized that they were modeling the process the driver diagram was encouraging, and that this approach to improving the use of oral health care at the community level could really work.
The Population Health Driver Diagram to Increase Use of Oral Health Care aims to:
  • Foster interdisciplinary collaboration to help communities discuss oral health care needs and community resources
  • Align activities to increase the use of oral health care across sectors to maximize use of limited resources and reduce competition among stakeholders .
  • Identify roles already being played by organizations and individuals in the community
  • Determine additional action that can be taken individually and collectively to positively impact oral health in the community
Now that the Oral Health Care Advisory Group has skillfully finalized the driver diagram, the fun truly begins: we are ready and eager to share this this tool widely and pilot it at sites in the field. While the Oral Health Care Advisory Group is enthusiastic about the potential of this tool for addressing oral health as a population health challenge, the driver diagram needs to progress from being a tool on paper, to a tool being used in a community. A single pilot site does not need to address all drivers, and is likely to focus on the drivers that are most relevant to its priorities at a given time. This provides focus, increases feasibility, and is more likely to result in early gains. We are working with the Oral Health Care Advisory Group to identify sites for piloting this driver diagram and funding sources to support these efforts.
Do you have comments about the Population Health Driver Diagram to Increase Use of Oral Health Care or thoughts about how it can be used in your community? PHF is interested in hearing feedback from those working in the field about the driver diagram and ways it may be used in practice. Share your thoughts in the feedback box below.
Please contact me directly at, (202)218-4410, if you’d like to discuss how you can use the driver diagram in your community.


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