FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2012
CONTACT: Office of Communications Jessica Hammonds, (850) 245-4111
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH’S COMMITMENT TO ONGOING QUALITY IMPROVEMENT AT COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENTS
-A Statement from State Surgeon General Dr. John H. Armstrong-
“As Florida’s new State Surgeon General, I have spent much of my first eight weeks evaluating the structure, systems, and staffing of the Department of Health (DOH) as I look for opportunities for greater efficiency and performance improvement.
The pilot DOH performance ranking tool that groups County Health Departments (CHD) was in motion prior to my arrival and represents the Department’s commitment to ongoing quality improvement. The measures used to group counties have been part of the agency’s ongoing CHD performance improvement system since 2006. This process was nationally recognized by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers (ASTHO) in 2007. The overall purpose of these measures is to support continuous performance improvement in DOH activities across all counties. Only when performance gaps are identified can they be properly addressed.
These existing measures were used to build a pilot CHD performance tool with a focus on four groupings from “excellent” to “needs improvement”. Refinement of this tool is in progress through the Department’s Performance Management Council, an inclusive group of public health professionals representing small, medium, large, and metro CHDs, as well as Disease Control, Family Health Services, Environmental Health, Children’s Medical Services, Medical Quality Assurance, Minority Health, Emergency Medical Operations, Pharmacy and Administration. Once finalized, these groupings will be used to assess which counties need additional technical assistance for performance improvement.
An initial review occurred at a Council meeting and yielded a number of suggested revisions. Over the next several months, the measures will be further revised to ensure the ability to use the data to drive improvement and guide the use of performance review teams. The target completion date for revising the measures and implementing the performance review is the end of this calendar year.
Performance improvement is a core function at DOH and, as such, the Office of Performance Improvement now reports to the Chief of Staff.”
The Florida Department of Health’s mission is to protect and promote the health of all residents and visitors in the state through organized state and community efforts, including cooperative agreements with counties. For more information, visit the Department’s http://floridashealth.com/ website.
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