Prepare for Pandemic Influenza: Applying Quality Improvement Principles to Emergency Preparedness
The overall goal of the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) during the Prepare for Pandemic Influenza (PI) project was to minimize the health and social impact of pandemic influenza in its jurisdiction by improving the accuracy, effectiveness, and timeliness of its risk communication. GCHD conducted tests to develop tools and implement technology to provide quick and clear communication to staff and to the public. GCHD also worked to cultivate a readiness among both the staff and the public to receive essential information and directives from the health department in the event of a pandemic flu or similar public health emergency. The project included several measureable deliverables, including reducing by half the time it takes to prepare risk communication messages; distributing important, audience-specific messages to targeted audiences within 3 hours of preparation of the information to be released; reaching all staff within 90 minutes of an identified event to relay information; and assuring that 100% of staff has access to and ability to use pre-prepared messages to communicate with the general public.
The Prepare for PI project was a success for GCHD. The project team was able to develop several useful tools for communication. The project also helped to demonstrate the value of quality improvement in public health, and specifically emergency preparedness, as well as the value of quality improvement (QI) tools to both management and staff. Additionally, the project helped to identify areas for future improvement, including the need to improve communication with specific sectors of the community, particularly the medical community.
Swartout, A. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Prepare for Pandemic Influenza: Applying Quality Improvement Principles to Emergency Preparedness. Fri, 11/17/2017 - 12:23. Available at http://phqix.org/content/prepare-pandemic-influenza-applying-quality-improvement-principles-emergency-preparedness. Accessed January 16, 2021.