An Initiative to Improve a Local Health Department's Lyme Disease Case Report Process
The aim of Jefferson County Public Health Service’s quality improvement (QI) project was to reduce the number of possible steps in the Lyme disease case report process from 41 to 18, to transition from a combined paper and electronic process to a purely electronic process, and to reduce the types of staff involved in the process from two to one. The project began on January 2, 2013, and concluded on July 31, 2013, with adoption of the new process.
The QI team achieved significant process improvement. The improvement theory was tested across two cohorts of Lyme disease case reports. The number of days it took for staff to process a Lyme disease report decreased by 20%. Time (in minutes) to process a Lyme disease report showed similar improvement. In testing the first cohort, the process was made fully electronic, and the need for secretarial staff was completely eliminated. Time (in minutes) was reduced by 51.9%. In testing the second cohort, time was reduced to 5.68 minutes.
The improvement in time, based on comparison of the old approach with the new approach, represents a 73.3% reduction in minutes that registered nurses (RNs) worked per Lyme disease report. Although the team met its goal of reducing total possible steps in the process, actual total steps were reduced by 73.5% on average.
Jennings, S. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. An Initiative to Improve a Local Health Department's Lyme Disease Case Report Process. Mon, 01/29/2018 - 14:27. Available at https://www.phqix.org/content/initiative-improve-local-health-departments-lyme-disease-case-report-process. Accessed February 7, 2023.