Quality Improvement

“Quality improvement in public health is the use of a deliberate and defined improvement process, such as Plan-Do-Check-Act, which is focused on activities that are responsive to community needs and improving population health. It refers to a continuous and ongoing effort to achieve measurable improvements in the efficiency, effectiveness, performance, accountability, outcomes, and other indicators of quality in services or processes which achieve equity and improve the health of the community.”

-- Accreditation Coalition Workgroup, Public Health Foundation, approved June 2009

The Division of Public Health is on a quality improvement (QI) journey. QI is happening all around HHS, and the QI culture continues to grow.

QI is one tool that HHS uses to help improve health outcomes for Iowans by thinking about:

  • What are we trying to accomplish?
  • How will we know that a change is an improvement?
  • What changes can we make that will result in an improvement?

For more information about QI at HHS check out the Performance Improvement Trello Board.

Performance Improvement Plan

At the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Division of Public Health, performance improvement (PI) is the name given to the formal tools and processes used to better understand challenges, set goals, develop strategies, evaluate progress, and improve outcomes. To guide these important functions, the Division of Public Health develops an annual plan that describes the division’s resources, goals, strategies, activities, timelines, and performance measures related to PI.

Quality Improvement Council

The QI Council leads the implementation of the QI plan and guides HHS on its QI journey. Council members also receive training on QI tools and serve as facilitators of QI efforts at HHS. The QI Council includes:

  • Public Health Deputy Director (chair)
  • QI coordinator (facilitator)
  • Performance Management (PM) Coordinator
  • A bureau chief
  • Eight staff members from across HHS

Quality Improvement Culture

All HHS employees are encouraged to incorporate QI in their work and their performance plans. They are also encouraged to submit their QI ideas to the QI council. A variety of QI trainings are offered year-round. The trainings focus on specific QI tools that staff can use in their daily work.

Quality Improvement Tools and Resources

NACCHO’s Roadmap to a Culture of Quality Improvement

The National Association of County and City Health Officials’ QI roadmap provides guidance on progressing through six phases of QI maturity to reach a culture of quality.

For more information:

Andrea Bentzinger, Quality Improvement Coordinator
Lucas State Office Building
321 E 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075
Phone: (515) 473-8898