Objectives: The Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange (PHQIX) is a free, openly available online community that supports public health practitioners in the rapidly evolving landscape of public health quality improvement (QI). This article’s objective is to describe the user-centered development of PHQIX and its current content and examine how elements of a QI initiative may vary by an organization’s characteristics or QI experience.
Methods: PHQIX was developed by taking a user-centered iterative design approach, seeking early and continued input from users to gather requirements for the website. We performed an exploratory analysis of the published QI initiative descriptions, reviewing all QI projects that PHQIX users shared as
of January 1, 2018.
Results: PHQIX features 193 QI initiatives from a variety of health departments and public health institutes using a wide range of QI methods and tools.
Discussion: Submitted QI initiatives focus on many public health domains and favor the PDCA/PDSA cycle; Kaizen; and fishbone diagrams, flowcharts, process maps, and survey methods. Limitations include data coming only from users who represent health departments with sufficient time to complete the PHQIX submission template. Additionally, many initiatives were submitted in part to fulfill a grant requirement, which could skew results.
Conclusion: As the field of QI in public health practice evolves, resources targeted to QI practitioners should build on and advance the available resources. Findings from this study will provide insight into QI initiatives being performed and the types of projects that can be expected as organizational experience and collaboration grow.
Keywords: informatics, public health, public health accreditation, quality improvement, science of improvement
Abbreviations: Plan, Do, Check/Study, Act (PDCA/PDSA); Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange (PHQIX); quality improvement (QI); Expert Panel (EP); User Group (UG)