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Select and Implement QI Projects


QI involves the use of a deliberate and defined improvement process to achieve measurable improvements in the efficiency, effectiveness, or services and processes. There are several methods used for conducting QI projects. 

This page explains process options that are available and provides examples of QI projects conducted at LHDs around the country.

Prioritization Guide

Selecting an appropriate QI project can be a overwhelming without the use of formal prioritization techniques. Where do you start doing QI? How do you choose QI efforts? This document outlines five prioritization methods LHDs can use to choose among the many and narrow them down to select the few best to start. It includes descriptions of each method as well as examples of how LHDs have used the methods.

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QI Processes
Health Departments across the country use various frameworks for conducting their QI initiatives. Below is a list of some common processes used to perform quality improvement activities.

  • Plan-Do-Study Act (PDSA): Perhaps the most common framework for QI at LHDs, PDSA (or sometimes known as PDCA) is an intuitive introduction to quality improvement that can provide an excellent starting point as health departments try QI processes.
  • Kaizen: Kaizen, simply a term that means “change for the better,” is an event methodology that can be utilized to achieve rapid improvements in work processes. A kaizen event is a team-based approach that enables improvement to be made by stepping through all phases of the quality improvement cycle in an effective and rapid fashion.
  • Lean: Lean is a term often used in manufacturing, enterprise, or production. It is a systemic method for the elimination of waste within a process.
  • Baldrige: The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program provides a framework and an assessment tool for understanding organizational strengths and opportunities for improvement. Agencies working towards the Baldrige criteria strive to deliver ever-improving value to customers and stakeholders, improve overall organizational effectiveness, and contribute to organizational and personal learning.
QI Project Resources

  • Storyboard Template: This document allows LHDs to create a storyboard relating to a QI project or initiative
  • Storyboard Development Guide: This guide explains the components of a storyboard and how to set up an effective display
  • Embracing Quality in Public Health: A Practitioner's Quality Improvement Guidebook: This guidebook, created by the Michigan Public Health Institute, provides several resources and frameworks for public health professionals.