Introducing QI to New Employees

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 15:47 -- gkroberts

In efforts to foster a culture of quality, it is important to train new employees on QI basics. Currently, we provide a brief 5-minute overview during New Employee Orientation, but I am curious to see if there are more effective ways of doing this. Can anyone share how QI is introduced to new employees at their agency?

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Submitted by rbialek on

There is a new introduction to QI course in TRAIN developed by the Public Health Foudation and Kansas Department of Public Health and Environment.  This is a very basic course designed for beginners, and is inteded to introduce health department employees to QI.  The course is available for free and can be accessed by going to Once on the TRAIN site, enter course ID number 1059243 in the search box at the upper right hand corner of the TRAIN homepage, or use the course search function.  To launch the course, you will need to be logged into TRAIN.  If you do not have a TRAIN account, you can set one up for free and then launch the course. 

Hope this helps. 

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ron bialek

Submitted by gkroberts on

Thank you for sharing that, Ron. I will definitely look into this. Do you use this at your agency? If so, have you noticed any barriers to requiring new employees to do this online training? Has it been effective?

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Gurleen Roberts, MPH
Director of Quality Management
Cobb & Douglas Public Health
Marietta, GA

Marianne Shawley's picture
Submitted by Marianne Shawley on

We use tools from the OSU Center for Public Health practice.  They have three training modules that introduce CQI.  We require each new employee to complete Module One, which is an overview of CQI.  We require each new QI team to view Module Two (usually as a group during the first meeting) which provides the basics on tools and techniques, and our QI Council completed Module Three which discusses choosing projects and teams.  The modules can be found at


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Marianne K. Shawley
QI/Accreditation Coordinator
Henry County Health Department

Submitted by bryn.manzella@j... on

At the Jefferson County Department of Health in Birmingham, Alabama, we developed an on-line course, "Introduction to Quality Improvement"  for initial quality improvement education. The course is part of the mandatory New Hire Orientation received by employees within the first week of employment. The course is self-paced, but shouldn't take more than a hour to complete  When the course was initially launched a few years ago, it was added as required training within a set for all existing employees. The course is housed on our Learning Management System and can be reviewed or re-reviewed at any time.

In terms of effectiveness, the Quality Improvement and Decision Support Division has observed that some staff are better prepared for quality improvement activities and that baseline measurement is no longer a foreign construct.

Let me know if I can provide additional information.

Bryn Manzella

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Bryn Manzella, MPH
Director of Quality Improvement
Jefferson County Department of Health
1400 6th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233

4Sloan's picture
Submitted by 4Sloan on

Ron, thank you so much for the TRAIN resource. I've just started building a staff training kit for various topics and this fits well with that effort. This morning I also came across the MeasureUp site and it provides some great basic ("dip your toes into the topic") and advanced ("dive deep") training resources for teaching the basics of impact measurement. This isn't a QI-specific training but definitely related to using measurement to improve program impacts for families and communities:

Gurleen, thanks for bringing this topic to the Community Forum. PHQIX rocks!

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Submitted by jhadayia on

I just spent an hour on the MeasureUp site - this is fantastic! Just what I was looking for to help evaluate economic impact for a food access initiative here in Harris County. Thank you for the post!

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Jane Palmer's picture
Submitted by Jane Palmer on

We have an orientation manual for new employees.  One of the things we've debated for some time is which LMS to go with.  TRAIN does embrace all things PH.  The intro to QI is a great broad stroke intro.   Having all staff create a TRAIN acct. is the first step.  The challenge is with a small organization, having dedicated staff to manage the workforce development plan.  Our attempt has been for each supervisor to pay attention to the learning needs/resources and actual course completion of the staff they manage.  It's an area that can easily get lost in the busy world of PH.


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Jane Palmer RN/BSN
Public Health Nursing Supervisor
North Central Public Health District

Megan Davis's picture
Submitted by Megan Davis on

At the Washington State Department of Health, we take 30 minutes to orient our new employees to QI. We show a 17-minute video about our state government’s Lean initiative, followed by discussion and  a few PowerPoint slides outlining our agency’s QI approach and highlighting a few  tools that can be used for daily continuous improvement efforts.

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Megan Davis
Accreditation Coordinator
Washington State Dept. of Health

Submitted by brandi_wamhoff on

Kane County H.D. offers an orientation to all new employees.  The orientation consists of a PP Presentation and overview (about 1 hour) and completion of  QI modules developed in house.  6 of the modules are mandatory and 7 are opptional, however, we encourage employees to complete all of them.  Employees have up to 1 year to complete the 6 required modules. 

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Brandi Wamhoff, MPH
Kane County Health Department
Data and Quality Coordinator's picture
Submitted by kschneider@co.g... on

Great input from everyone.  Your resources are very helpful to me as a public health QI newby.  I will complete the QI course in TRAIN and also take a look at the measure up website.  Thank you!

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ocoker's picture
Submitted by ocoker on

In addition to having a QI training series available, we also go to some of the standing program and division meetings and do quick QI mini-trainings.  We ask to be on the agenda so we can talk about the QI process (and it's impact).  It helps keep the conversation going--and we catch a lot of new staff...

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