Decreasing Time from Referral to First Contact of Suspected Tuberculosis Cases

Summary

Impact Statement: 
Working together, the Tulare County Public Health Department’s tuberculosis (TB) team and nurses increased the on-time completion rates from 80% to 100% for referrals of suspected TB cases. The QI project resulted in a newly defined and consistent work process that improved communications and team work and decreased clarifying and searching times and staff frustration. The team was then able to adapt and replicate the new work process for handling all TB and acute communicable disease referrals.
Summary: 

The project scope includes email, text, and phone calls as methods of communication and process and workflow from receipt of referral to the initial attempt to contact the patient.

The Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound (SMART) goals of the project include the following:
• By February 28, 2015, the TB team will achieve 100% of TB case referrals that meet time requirements for Class V TB.
• All staff (TB and PHN) will document the referral date and the first attempt to contact the client in the electronic medical record (EMR).

Success metrics (measures) include the following:
• The percentage of Class V TB case referrals that meet time requirements
• The percentage of nurses or staff who enter referrals and first attempt to contact the patient in the EMR

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
Tulare County PHN and Tulare County TB control office
Citation: 

Henderson, H. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Decreasing Time from Referral to First Contact of Suspected Tuberculosis Cases. Mon, 10/26/2015 - 16:52. Available at https://www.phqix.org/content/decreasing-time-referral-first-contact-suspected-tuberculosis-cases. Accessed May 27, 2018.

Submission Status: 
Completed
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