Improving the Connecticut Department of Public Health Databases to Ensure Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Other Sociodemographic Data Meet Federal Standards

Summary

Impact Statement: 
The CT DPH innovatively improved its ability to collect and report sociodemographic information, so health disparities could be identified throughout the state and efforts could be taken to improve population health and better address health inequities.
Summary: 

The purpose of the quality improvement (QI) initiative is to improve the ability to collect and report on sociodemographic characteristics by making the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) databases consistent with federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB)-15 standards. Potential benefits of this opportunity include the availability of standardized sociodemographic data and an increase in DPH ability to identify health disparities. Also, an intangible benefit is that the CT DPH will be better positioned to access Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) grants. One expected external benefit is the ability to provide more meaningful data to DPH partners. The expected stakeholders and customers of this initiative are DPH data users, the Affirmative Action Office, local health department staff, and the general public.

DPH databases were identified for improvement based on the following criteria for selection: the database interfaces with other databases, modifications are time-bound, and the outcomes are useful for customers. A flowchart of the improvement process was developed to understand the complexity of modifying the databases. Three major databases and five others were selected for improvement and changes were made if they were (1) feasible and (2) within DPH control or influence. After modification, quality assurance (QA) checks were done to determine if the databases were fully compliant.

The results of the initiative were that two of the three targeted databases were at least 95% compliant by QA check at project’s end. Overall, 12% of DPH databases were in compliance—a 200% increase compared with the baseline rate. An estimated 16% will be in compliance by the beginning of 2013.

This QI initiative is expected to continue in the months to come. A database quality annual review template was drafted and a list of action items for maintaining the gains of the initiative will be presented to DPH senior leadership for their support.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
Connecticut Department of Public Health
Citation: 

Logan, S. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Improving the Connecticut Department of Public Health Databases to Ensure Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Other Sociodemographic Data Meet Federal Standards. Mon, 03/25/2013 - 17:53. Available at https://www.phqix.org/content/improving-connecticut-department-public-health-databases-ensure-race-ethnicity-gender-and. Accessed October 15, 2018.

Submission Status: 
Completed
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3 users have voted.

Comments

Submitted by mbuchelli on

Hi Susan,

I just found this site. Very interesting work. Good to see QI activity happening in our department. Thank you for sharing!

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Marianne Buchelli

Submitted by logans on

Thanks Marianne.

I'm glad you found the site. We should highlight this at our next QI Council meeting.

-Susan

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Susan Logan
Epidemiologist
Public Health Systems Improvement
Connecticut Department of Public Health

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Submitted by jpina on

Susan and Marianne, Thanks so much for sharing your initiative, we would be glad to send some phqix freebies (water bottles, flashlights, etc) to your next QI Council Meeting. Just let us know.

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Submitted by logans on

Yes, that would be great. There're about 18 of us- it's a pretty big group.

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Susan Logan
Epidemiologist
Public Health Systems Improvement
Connecticut Department of Public Health

Submitted by EleanorH on

I enjoyed the presentation on this at COPPHI in June 2013. I'm inspired to go back and see if our databases have standardized these fields, or if we should undertake a similar project. If so, I know where to look for ideas. Thanks!

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Submitted by logans on

Anytime! We are kicking off our data quality improvement committee very soon and will be working on more databases on an ongoing basis.

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Susan Logan
Epidemiologist
Public Health Systems Improvement
Connecticut Department of Public Health

LowrieWard's picture
Submitted by LowrieWard on

This is a great project; i'm excited to read about it. It's good to see a state doing this kind of work. A lot of locals sometimes have concerns about taking on technology-related QI projects because the state has so much control -- it's good to see everyone is thinking QI :)

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