Enhancing Public Health Preparedness: Exercises, Exemplary Practices, and Lessons Learned, Phase III
Task B2: Final Report: Promoting Emergency Preparedness and Readiness for Pandemic Influenza (PREPARE for PI): Pilot Quality Improvement Learning Collaborative
Quality improvement (QI) techniques, though based on proven business and management practices, have not been widely available to public health departments. Recently, there have been nascent efforts to promote QI in public health, although there is little QI activity in the area of public health emergency preparedness (PHEP). Promoting Emergency Preparedness and Readiness for Pandemic Influenza (PREPARE for PI), sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and organized by RAND, was a pilot learning collaborative designed to work with public health organizations to apply QI methods to public health, specifically in the context of preparing for an influenza pandemic. Two state and three local health departments participated in the collaborative, which focused strongly on innovation from each participating team. The experience of the PREPARE for PI pilot collaborative adds significantly to the early experiences of others in public health, demonstrating that practitioners at the state and local level can use QI methods to improve performance. But the expectation for continuous improvement needs to be both a top-down and bottom-up endeavor.