Accreditation Brings Transformational Changes to Wood County Health Department’s Quality Improvement Culture
by Susan Kunferman, RN, MSN, CPM
Wood County Health Department, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Many things have changed at the Wood County Health Department in Wisconsin Rapids, WI, since becoming accredited in May 2013. One of the most significant changes we’ve seen is how the culture of quality improvement has become engrained within our staff and throughout our department. As an administrator, this transformation has been fun to watch. I think back to discussions about how staff simply couldn’t do one more thing. Plates were already overflowing and how were we going to make this work? That all seems so long ago and I believe we’ve turned the corner and found a place where quality improvement (QI) isn’t another thing: it’s a part of everything, as it should be.
This revelation hit me when I was reviewing a list of the QI projects that employees completed in 2015. It was a long list — a very long list. Some of the outcomes from those projects are truly amazing and undertaking those initiatives has improved every program area in our agency in some way. That doesn’t mean that each ended with 100 percent success. That certainly isn’t the case. But even those that didn’t go the way we expected helped us with our journey toward becoming the most effective, efficient agency possible while providing excellent customer service. It also helped us become more comfortable with the option to “abandon” or “adapt.” Both are now very important in our world.
I look forward to our continued growth as an agency as we experience the many benefits that come with the public health accreditation process.
Wood County Health Department in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, was awarded national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board on May 30, 2013.
About the author: Susan Kunferman, RN, MSN, CPM, is Director/Health Officer at Wood County Health Department in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Contact her at 715-421-8911 or via email at [email protected].