Quality Improvement

Quality Improvement

ASTHO supports states' quality improvement efforts through resources and technical assistance.


Performance Management Essentials
Sustaining a performance management system is key to its success. A strong performance management system can help transform an agency’s practice so it is aligned, data driven, and focused on achieving improved outcomes for the population. This brief highlights four top takeaways from the experience of six public health agencies working to establish and strengthen their own performance management systems.

National Demonstration Initiative on QI Practices in State Public Health

ASTHO, with support provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is pleased to announce the successful completion of its National Quality Improvement Demonstration Initiative in State Public Health Agencies. The two-year initiative, which concluded in November 2013, involved five states-Arizona, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon-and included each state’s Environmental Health, Maternal and Child Health and Chronic Disease program areas. The national initiative increased state readiness for accreditation, demonstrated the value of QI to manage budgets during difficult financial times, improved integration of services and standardized QI methodology within state public health programs. For further information on the results of this initiative, please visit the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's case studies, Five State Health Departments Worked to Improve Quality, or contact ASTHO's Performance Improvement Team.

National Quality and Performance Resources

Advancing Performance Improvement in the Age of COVID-19
This webinar highlights the relevance of performance improvement as health departments manage the pandemic response in their communities by creating a forum for PI professionals and health department staff to discuss how to continue this work in the age of COVID-19.

American Society for Quality: Data Collection and Analysis Tools
A compendium of tools for quality improvement data and analysis

Baldrige National Quality Program
The Baldrige’s Getting Started guide provides a starting point for an agency to gauge performance in seven key areas; the results can help determine what performance improvement activities to undertake.

Guide on Conducting an Administrative Policy Assessment and Gap Analysis
Available in English and Spanish, this guide is a resource for state and territorial health agencies interested in improving administrative and operational policies and processes.

Implementing Performance Management In Your Health Agency
Health agency leaders from Vermont and Washington, D.C., as well as several performance improvement staff members, describe their experiences with performance management and share practical strategies to adopt performance management practices within a health agency.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) hosts a Quality and Patient Safety page that includes several resources and tools for quality improvement.

The Balanced Scorecard
The Balanced Scorecard is a strategic planning and management system used to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organizational performance against strategic goals.

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement, in collaboration with the Public Health Foundation, hosts a Public Health Resources page addressing quality improvement, including changes, measures, and tools for improvement that can be used in a public health setting.

Interagency Collaboration to Improve Business Processes in the U.S. Virgin Islands
This blog post focuses on the interagency collaboration to improve business processes in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Interagency administrative process improvement is a complex undertaking and there will be many challenges ahead to work through. Using an evidence-based process for improvement combined with leadership development and coaching will achieve results and help sustain capacity for improvement beyond project activities.

The Quality Toolbox
The Quality Toolbox, (2 Ed.), by Nancy R. Tague, includes a wide variety of continuous improvement tools (matrices and flowcharts, data collection and analysis tools, planning and idea generating, quality management systems) as well as case studies of Baldrige Award winners.

Turning Point
Turning Point, an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, created a network of 23 states and 5 National Excellence Collaborative to strengthen the public health system through partnerships with state and community partners.

Unlocking Possibilities Through Process Improvement
This ASTHOConnect includes a forum discussion with participants and subject matter experts, as well as presentations about ASTHO's work with Puerto Rico and USVI on technical assistance and capacity building to improve business processes.

U.S. Virgin Islands Business Process Improvement Storyboard
This storyboard highlights the USVI Department of Health's completed multi-year project to streamline internal business processes that impact spend down of federal hurricane crisis funds.