Improving the Retention Rate of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Clients in Yellowstone County, Montana

Summary

Impact Statement: 
WIC enrollment is well below the eligible population in Yellowstone, MT, and a substantial number of those enrolled do not regularly pick up their food coupons, resulting in automatic disenrollment and loss of benefits. Utilizing PDCA, RiverStone Health addressed the root causes of the drop off in WIC participation.
Summary: 

RiverStone Health, formerly known as Yellowstone City-County Health Department, sought to increase the retention rate of children in its Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). In 2010, an estimated 4,396 children were eligible for WIC benefits in Yellowstone County, and only 1,392 of them were served. In June 2012, 1,731 children were enrolled in WIC, and only 85% used WIC services. A multidisciplinary quality improvement (QI) team was established for the project; the team included a past WIC participant and the WIC program specialist for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS).

The initial aim statement was as follows: By August 1, 2013, RiverStone Health will increase the percentage of participants ages 1–5 who meet the WIC definition for active participation from 85% to 90%. The team identified the root cause of nonparticipation to be that clients were not required to schedule their next appointment before leaving the office, and the team tested a process change that required clients to schedule their next appointment before leaving the office. As a result of the QI initiative, the percentage of clients being scheduled increased from 56% to a high of 97%, and the number of clients who had benefits terminated per month decreased from 45 to 36. However, the percentage of participants who meet the WIC definition for active participation was 84.9%, which was not a significant change from the baseline of 85%.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
RiverStone Health
Citation: 

Silveus, H. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Improving the Retention Rate of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Clients in Yellowstone County, Montana. Wed, 03/08/2017 - 14:45. Available at https://www.phqix.org/content/improving-retention-rate-special-supplemental-nutrition-program-women-infants-and-children. Accessed August 14, 2018.

Submission Status: 
Completed
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Comments

Submitted by lkent on

Nice job on this QI initiative. You've addressed the scheduling issue--now on to finding other causes that are affecting active participation! I hope your team shares future QI efforts with all of us. Keep up the good work.

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