In order to demonstrate our committment to accountability, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health established a comprehensive performance management system described here for our elected officials, communities, funders and public health partners.
Our performance management system, depicted in the graphic below, is designed to position the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to most effectively serve our communities. We recognize that the landscape of public health is quickly changing. To that end, our performance goals reflect a new focus on developing evidence and/or research based programming opportunities that address emerging public health issues in conjunction with our academic partners.
At the community level, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health periodically conducts an assessment of the entire public health system in the community using the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) National Public Health Performance Standards Local Public Health System and Governance Performance Assessment Tools. In 2009, we convened 0ver 100 community partners to complete the system assessment.
Click here for the results from the local public health system assessment
This event marked the first time the the local public health system gathered to assess itself using an objective national tool.
National Public Health Accreditaiton (PHAB)
In September of 2011, the Public Health Accreditation Board, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, launched a national voluntary accreditation program for state and local governmental public heatlh agencies. Public health department accreditation is defined as the development of a set of standards, a process to measure health department performance against those standards, and reward or recognition for those health departments who meet the standards.
PHAB’s public health department accreditation process seeks to advance quality and performance within public health departments. Accreditation standards define the expectations for all public health departments that seek to become accredited. National public health department accreditation has been developed because of the desire to improve service, value, and accountability to stakeholders.
Accreditation through PHAB provides a means for a department to identify performance improvement opportunities, to improve management, develop leadership, and improve relationships with the community. The process is one that will challenge the health department to think about what business it does and how it does that business. It will encourage and stimulate quality and performance improvement in the health department. It will also stimulate greater accountability and transparency.
Accreditation documents the capacity of the public health department to deliver the three core functions of public health and the Ten Essential Public Health Services. Thus, accreditation gives reasonable assurance of the range of public health services a department should provide. Accreditation declares that the health department has an appropriate mission and purpose and can demonstrate that it will continue to accomplish its mission and purpose.
The Cuyahoga County Board of Health plans to seek national accreditation in 2012-13. Part of that process involves the completion of a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) as a prerequisite. We are currently in the process of building this plan though a community initiave called HIP Cuyahoga, the brand for the Health Improvement Partnership(HIP), which includes a community health assessment of objective data on morbidities and mortalities in Cuyahoga County, combined with a community engagement process that includes a community survey in which the general public can share their issues related to health.
The Cuyahoga County Board of Health held a retreat in 2009 that led to the development of a Strategic Map to chart the course for the agency. This process included the development of a comprehesive Strategic Plan, to operationalize the components of the map and to meet additional requirements for national accreditation.
In 2010, the leadership of the agency established a Quality Improvement Council (QIC) to track a range of quality improvment (QI) initiatives in the agency. According to William Riley, Associate Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, managing performance and strengthening accountability have emerged as the prevailing themes confronting public health agencies as expectations continue to rise and resources tighten.
To that end, the QIC developed a comprehensive Quality Improvement Plan to track our progress.
The QIC reviews the agency Performance Goals, monitors quality improvement projects as well as a dashboard of the collective performance of individuals in the agency, monitored by the Board of Health on a semi-annual basis.
Ann Dunham, Organizational Development