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Story of Measurable Improvement in Public Health

Name of Health Department/Agency: Kane County Health Department
State: IL
Contact Name: Jennifer Jaquez
Contact Information: jaquezjennifer@co.kane.il.us
Date Added: 9/26/2011
Program/Topic Area: Emergency Preparedness and Response
QI techniques/tools:  5-whys, Fishbone Diagram, Flowchart, PDCA, Run Chart,
Description of the process and intervention: Emergency Preparedness recognized a low level of response to automated monthly employee call-down drills. The goal of the project was to increase staff acknowledgement of calls from baseline of 29% to 95% compliance. Through a root cause analysis, we found that incorrect staff contact information, in addition to problems with the automated response system, were not only causing calls not to be received, but staff responses were not being counted accurately. Interventions focused on obtaining corrected contact information for all staff, and setting up a schedule for regularly updating this information. In addition, the process for responding to call-down drills was revised from that of responding to an automated system (which was flawed) to manually calling back to a newly established response phone line. Staff were trained on the new procedure and a system of feedback was implemented.
Result/outcome: In response to the interventions implemented, Emergency Preparedness now has a 100% accurate list of contact information for staff, a newly developed procedure for call-down drills, and a staff that are more knowledgeable about the process for call-down drills. Results of the interventions revealed an increase in response rates, which average 85% on a monthly basis. It is important to note that staff who are out of the office on the day of the drill (due to vacation or sick time) are not counted toward the total compliance.
Next Steps: Emergency Preparedness is striving to maintain the gains achieved by this project, and have set a threshold of 70% compliance for future drills; if response rates fall below this threshold, Emergency Preparedness will investigate and implement other improvement strategies. The program will also continue to maintain an updated contact list. Lessons learned from this project will also be implemented to improve other types of call-down drills in the program, such as blast fax drills.

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