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Promoting Evidence-Based Decision Making in a Local Health Department, Pueblo City-County, Colorado.

Hardy AK, Nevin-Woods C, Proud S, Brownson RC - Prev Chronic Dis (2015)

Bottom Line: Evidence-based decision making (EBDM) is an effective strategy for addressing population health needs.Survey data showed evidence of progress in engaging and educating staff members, and data showed improved attitudes toward EBDM (ie, several items showed significant improvement from baseline to follow-up).For example, staff members reported having the necessary skills to develop evidence-based interventions (73.9%), the ability to effectively communicate information on evidence-based strategies to policy makers (63.0%), access to current information on improving EBDM processes (65.2%), and a belief that evidence-based interventions are designed to be self-sustaining (43.5%).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Saint Louis University, 1312 Carr Lane Ave, Education Union, Rm 110, St Louis, MO 63014. Email: hardyak@slu.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: Evidence-based decision making (EBDM) is an effective strategy for addressing population health needs. Assessing and reducing barriers to using EBDM in local health departments may improve practice and provide insight into disseminating EBDM principles among public health practitioners.

Community context: Administrative leaders at the Pueblo City-County Health Department, Pueblo, Colorado, used a systematic approach for implementing EBDM. Research partners engaged staff to understand factors that increase or deter its use.

Methods: A survey was distributed to staff members at baseline to identify gaps in administrative and individual practice of EBDM. In-depth interviews were also conducted with 11 randomly selected staff members. Results were shared with staff and administration, after which activities were implemented to improve application of EBDM. A follow up survey was administered 1 year after the initial assessment.

Outcome: Survey data showed evidence of progress in engaging and educating staff members, and data showed improved attitudes toward EBDM (ie, several items showed significant improvement from baseline to follow-up). For example, staff members reported having the necessary skills to develop evidence-based interventions (73.9%), the ability to effectively communicate information on evidence-based strategies to policy makers (63.0%), access to current information on improving EBDM processes (65.2%), and a belief that evidence-based interventions are designed to be self-sustaining (43.5%).

Interpretation: Within a local health department in which leaders have made EBDM a priority, addressing the culture and climate of the department may build EBDM. Future research may provide insight into tailoring EBDM within and across local health departments.

Show MeSH
Integration of evidence-based decision making, quality improvement, and plan-do-check-act at Pueblo City–County Health Department, Colorado.
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Figure 1: Integration of evidence-based decision making, quality improvement, and plan-do-check-act at Pueblo City–County Health Department, Colorado.

Mentions: Following the assessment period, the research team maintained communication with the PCCHD community via conference calls and email to learn about, and track progress on, their plans for addressing improvement in the uptake of EBDM. Notably, many strategies were operationalized through collaboration between staff members and external partners. For example, PCCHD partnered with a state university to tailor a 3-day EBDM training for PCCHD staff that was based on an established training model (2). Agency leaders invited all staff members who held positions that allowed them to make evidence-based decisions. An EBDM team in PCCHD made up of staff members with EBDM training and experience was identified as a resource for staff members to contact for consultation as they learned the EBDM process. Administrators clarified messages about EBDM (ie, that it is a process, not a specific program) as the results of the survey were shared with staff members. To minimize confusion, messages and concepts related to EBDM, quality improvement, and the plan-do-check-act model (a management method used for continuous improvement) were merged into 1 decision flowchart and presented to the entire staff (Figure). EBDM was then incorporated into the 5-year strategic plan by the PCCHD strategic planning committee, where it now states that PCCHD “will implement a quality improvement plan using EBDM.” The local board of health was asked to promote the process by asking the PCCHD administration to formalize the use of EBDM in PCCHD as they made decisions on policies and programs. For example, EBDM language was incorporated into several PCCHD policies, namely the formal grant process, personnel policies, the strategic plan, and supervisor guidelines (in process).


Promoting Evidence-Based Decision Making in a Local Health Department, Pueblo City-County, Colorado.

Hardy AK, Nevin-Woods C, Proud S, Brownson RC - Prev Chronic Dis (2015)

Integration of evidence-based decision making, quality improvement, and plan-do-check-act at Pueblo City–County Health Department, Colorado.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4492218&req=5

Figure 1: Integration of evidence-based decision making, quality improvement, and plan-do-check-act at Pueblo City–County Health Department, Colorado.
Mentions: Following the assessment period, the research team maintained communication with the PCCHD community via conference calls and email to learn about, and track progress on, their plans for addressing improvement in the uptake of EBDM. Notably, many strategies were operationalized through collaboration between staff members and external partners. For example, PCCHD partnered with a state university to tailor a 3-day EBDM training for PCCHD staff that was based on an established training model (2). Agency leaders invited all staff members who held positions that allowed them to make evidence-based decisions. An EBDM team in PCCHD made up of staff members with EBDM training and experience was identified as a resource for staff members to contact for consultation as they learned the EBDM process. Administrators clarified messages about EBDM (ie, that it is a process, not a specific program) as the results of the survey were shared with staff members. To minimize confusion, messages and concepts related to EBDM, quality improvement, and the plan-do-check-act model (a management method used for continuous improvement) were merged into 1 decision flowchart and presented to the entire staff (Figure). EBDM was then incorporated into the 5-year strategic plan by the PCCHD strategic planning committee, where it now states that PCCHD “will implement a quality improvement plan using EBDM.” The local board of health was asked to promote the process by asking the PCCHD administration to formalize the use of EBDM in PCCHD as they made decisions on policies and programs. For example, EBDM language was incorporated into several PCCHD policies, namely the formal grant process, personnel policies, the strategic plan, and supervisor guidelines (in process).

Bottom Line: Evidence-based decision making (EBDM) is an effective strategy for addressing population health needs.Survey data showed evidence of progress in engaging and educating staff members, and data showed improved attitudes toward EBDM (ie, several items showed significant improvement from baseline to follow-up).For example, staff members reported having the necessary skills to develop evidence-based interventions (73.9%), the ability to effectively communicate information on evidence-based strategies to policy makers (63.0%), access to current information on improving EBDM processes (65.2%), and a belief that evidence-based interventions are designed to be self-sustaining (43.5%).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Saint Louis University, 1312 Carr Lane Ave, Education Union, Rm 110, St Louis, MO 63014. Email: hardyak@slu.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: Evidence-based decision making (EBDM) is an effective strategy for addressing population health needs. Assessing and reducing barriers to using EBDM in local health departments may improve practice and provide insight into disseminating EBDM principles among public health practitioners.

Community context: Administrative leaders at the Pueblo City-County Health Department, Pueblo, Colorado, used a systematic approach for implementing EBDM. Research partners engaged staff to understand factors that increase or deter its use.

Methods: A survey was distributed to staff members at baseline to identify gaps in administrative and individual practice of EBDM. In-depth interviews were also conducted with 11 randomly selected staff members. Results were shared with staff and administration, after which activities were implemented to improve application of EBDM. A follow up survey was administered 1 year after the initial assessment.

Outcome: Survey data showed evidence of progress in engaging and educating staff members, and data showed improved attitudes toward EBDM (ie, several items showed significant improvement from baseline to follow-up). For example, staff members reported having the necessary skills to develop evidence-based interventions (73.9%), the ability to effectively communicate information on evidence-based strategies to policy makers (63.0%), access to current information on improving EBDM processes (65.2%), and a belief that evidence-based interventions are designed to be self-sustaining (43.5%).

Interpretation: Within a local health department in which leaders have made EBDM a priority, addressing the culture and climate of the department may build EBDM. Future research may provide insight into tailoring EBDM within and across local health departments.

Show MeSH