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Story of Measurable Improvement in Public Health

Name of Health Department/Agency: Coconino County Health Department
State: AZ
Contact Name: Sarah Wagner
Contact Information:
Date Added: 6/27/2011
Program/Topic Area: Workforce competency
QI techniques/tools:  Flowchart, Histogram, Prioritization Matrix, Pre/post test survey
Description of the process and intervention: Using a prioritization matrix, the team chose to focus on improving workforce competency and in an effort to engage staff at all levels of service provision, the agency assessed staff competencies and used QI to address existing gaps. Due to a lack of a common understanding of basic public health concepts among all staff, a QI effort was implemented with a goal of ensuring that 90% of staff will correctly identify the ten Essential Public Health Services in a multiple-choice scenario. It was identified that not all staff received a “Public Health 101” training offered by the agency. The improvement theory was that if staff learn how their jobs contribute to public health, then they will learn the 10 EPHS more quickly. To test this theory, staff were administered a pre-test to test their knowledge, were provided a training tying public health concepts in to staff responsibilities, and were administered a post-test to assess the change in knowledge.
Result/outcome: As a result of the training, the number of staff that could correctly identify the 10 EPHS after the training increased from 17.7% to 72.3%.
Next Steps: The agency will standardize these trainings by adopting monthly QI in-services at service unit team meetings and will continue to tie public health concepts into everyday staff responsibilities during the trainings.

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