City of Nashua, New Hampshire, Embraces Quality Improvement
By Ren Beaudoin, MA
Accreditation has helped The City of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services realize a need to focus on enhancing quality improvement. Although the Division offers many great services with dedicated and passionate staff, we lacked a robust quality improvement plan to review processes and enhance services for our residents and community. Through interdepartmental communication and collaboration the Division was able to enhance quality improvement by strengthening our QI plan and implementing a QI council with representative members from each department to help identify areas for growth and development across the board. A focus on quality improvement has helped the Division become better stewards in a continuously changing community by allowing us to change as well.
In the past year the Division has been involved in many quality improvement projects in regards to services and programs offered. Surveys have been conducted in the community to gather feedback on proposed projects to present to the Board of Health, processes have been reviewed to identify and address gaps to better serve clients, collaboration with the Mayor’s office and community partners to have an active role in the development of a community center where public health services have been offered on a weekly basis, and the development, through community partnerships, of the Syringe Service Alliance of the Nashua Area (SSANA) to help address the opioid crisis and the burden of health impacts in the community. The Division has also worked collaboratively with partners using a comprehensive system approach to create a culture of health through participation in an Integrated Delivery Network Service Initiative aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of using an integrated systems approach in addressing mental health, substance use disorder, and access to primary care.
The vision of the City of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services is to have an informed, safe, healthy, and resilient community where all people can thrive and prosper; and although not every project or idea has come to fruition or has been a success, it is through evaluation and feedback that we have been able to produce more effective services as we strive to educate and empower our residents to have an active voice in their community.
City of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services in Nashua, New Hampshire was awarded national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board.
About the author: Ren Beaudoin, MA, is Deputy Health Officer at City of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services in Nashua, New Hampshire. Contact him at [email protected].
Other major benefits gained as a result of going through the accreditation process:
Workforce Development – training and opportunities
Enhanced organization and accountability