The Nevada County Public Health Department is working towards obtaining National Accreditation status from the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). The Mission of PHAB is to "Improve and protect the health of the public by advancing and transforming the quality and performance of governmental public health agencies in the U.S. and abroad." This is voluntary endeavor which will measure the department's performance against a set of nationally recognized, practice-focused and evidenced-based standards, resulting in better service for Nevada County residents.
The Accreditation process is essentially a Quality Improvement (QI) process and the department is already seeing results. In January 2017 we adopted a Performance Management Policy and Quality Improvement Plan, and in August 2017, we established our Quality Improvement Learning Team (QILT). The goals of the QILT are to cultivate and sustain a culture of quality improvement; develop QI champions throughout the department; and saturate the department with staff that is proficient in the QI methodologies.
Using mostly the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle tool, we have completed several projects (see links below to our Success Stories) and have several others that are in-process. We continue to refine and increase our knowledge of QI, and are becoming more familiar and proficient in using the many different QI tools (e.g., Lean, Flow Charts) available when working on projects. The projects completed to date have netted the department savings in both time and money, and as more and more staff see and reap the benefits of QI, we gain more buy-in!
In addition to our QI efforts the department has also deployed a performance management system to manage, track and report out on the department's performance, and have built into the department's On-Boarding process, an introduction to QI and Performance Management. We also have a standing Accreditation item on our monthly All Staff Meeting agendas were we report out on both Accreditation and QI activities.
For more information on Public Health Accreditation or Quality Improvement, please contact Public Health Administrative Analyst, Cathy Cross at 530 265-1455, firstname.lastname@example.org.