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Story of Measurable Improvement in Public Health

Name of Health Department/Agency: Norton County Health Department
State: KS
Contact Name: Gina Frack
Contact Information:
Date Added: 6/27/2011
Program/Topic Area: Reportable disease investigation
QI techniques/tools:  Flowchart, Prioritization Matrix, Interrelationship Diagraph
Description of the process and intervention: Based on results of an agency self-assessment and a prioritization matrix, the agency chose to address local disease investigation through QI. The goal was to increase nursing staff knowledge and understanding of performing disease investigation of Kansas reportable disease(s) from 71% to100%. Using an interrelationship diagraph, it was determined that staff has little knowledge and understanding because the current process for reportable disease investigation did not allow staff an opportunity to learn and did not address surge issues or unavailability of the administrator. The improvement theory was that if staff were trained in how to undertake disease surveillance, then their knowledge with increase. To test the theory, staff were administered a pre-test to measure baseline knowledge and then presented a PowerPoint training along with a flowchart with step-by-step decision points. To measure change in knowledge, a post-test was administered.
Result/outcome: As a result of the training and presentation of the flowchart of the disease surveillance process, knowledge and understanding of the process increased from 71% to 100%.
Next Steps: The flow chart was adopted as a resource for investigations. However, field testing was determined to be the best way to test for success. Staff will be assigned to perform future disease investigations only using the flow chart, and the flow chart will be revised as needed following each investigation. Bi-monthly staff meetings will include time for reviewing disease investigation cases. New employees who may be called upon to assist in a disease investigation will be trained using the same method and materials.

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