Environmental Health Child Care Facility Inspection Process: What To Expect When You're Inspected


Impact Statement: 
Washington County (OR) conducted a Kaizen Event to improve the volume of childcare facilities that used the LHD for their state required inspections. The agency implemented several new policies and protocols to standardize the entire inspection process. As a result, they anticipate a reduction in the overall cost of inspections and an increase in facilities using the LHD for inspections.

In February 2014, a rapid-process Kaizen event was conducted at Washington County Public Health Division's (WCPH's) Environmental Health Program to make improvements to the child care facility inspection process. The Environmental Health Program staff discovered that a small number of child care facilities chose to hire the Environmental Health Program for inspection services. In addition to this issue, the process for child care facility inspections lacked clarity (potentially resulting in issues with timeliness), and there were concerns that this was a missed opportunity for public health, which can ensure high-quality inspections and infrastructure to provide comprehensive service. The aim of the project was to decrease the overall cost of providing child care facility inspections, improve the timeliness of the inspection service, and improve the rapport between Environmental Health Program staff and the customers (including the knowledge provided that can help improve service to customers). Among other improvements, this project resulted in the following: (1) implementing a scheduling and preparedness call by the Environmental Health Specialist (EHS), (2) introducing service standards for scheduling, (3) eliminating the redundant log and data entry system, (4) creating standardized work and job aids, (5) creating policies and protocols for areas in which ambiguity exists, and (6) introducing a protocol to set a 5-day calendar window with the customer for inspection as part of the scheduling and preparedness call done by the EHS.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 

Mowlds, E. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Environmental Health Child Care Facility Inspection Process: What To Expect When You're Inspected. Thu, 05/14/2015 - 16:00. Available at https://www.phqix.org/content/environmental-health-child-care-facility-inspection-process-what-expect-when-youre-inspected. Accessed July 25, 2024.

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