Using Quality Improvement Methods to Improve Public Health Emergency Preparedness: PREPARE for Pandemic Influenza

Researchers demonstrate that a quality improvement (QI) collaborative model implemented in public health departments can improve their emergency preparedness and performance overall.

What researchers found: Teams indicated that phased-in changes at incremental stages enabled them to develop and test QI methods at minimal cost. By establishing baseline measures, the teams succeeded by building upon tested performance outcomes and by strengthening relationships with internal and external partners.

Why we chose this publication: This article highlights how QI methods are feasible, cost-effective, and sustainable by small phased-in changes that improve regular work instead of adding an additional burden in public health settings.

What researchers studied: Researchers applied aspects of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Breakthrough Series QI learning collaborative model to public health agencies who sought to improve their pandemic influenza preparedness. For nine months, five state and local health department teams attended learning sessions, and led agencywide QI improvement activities.

Publication information:
"Using Quality Improvement Methods to Improve Public Health Emergency Preparedness: PREPARE for Pandemic Influenza"
Lotstein D, Seid M, Ricci K, Leuschner K, Margolis P, Lurie N
Health Affairs (Web Exclusive), 27(5): w328–w339, July 15, 2008.