NNPHI Kaizen Program: Tazewell County Health Department Food Inspection Process

Summary

Impact Statement: 
Kaizen events lend themselves to rapid improvements in routine health department processes. Tazewell County Health Department utilized Kaizen tools to full advantage--reducing administrative time related to food establishment inspections dramatically, exceeding the project aim. In the first month, they achieved an 80% reduction in both time and materials.
Summary: 

Tazewell County Health Department (TCHD) completes more than 2,000 food establishment inspections per year. After data collection, TCHD staff found that more time is spent on the administration parts of the food inspection process than is necessary within the food program. Excluding the actual time to perform the inspection, current food inspection administrative time was 7 hours per inspection, totaling approximately 120 hours per week of staff time. A significant amount of paper is also wasted in duplicate copying of reports. TCHD staff selected this project not only because of its potential impact on overall cost savings to the food program in both time and materials, but also because it aligns with several strategic goals. These strategic goals include maintaining system sustainability, improving technological capabilities, and embedding a culture of quality improvement (QI) into the organization. The first goal in TCHD’s 2014–2016 strategic plan is to maximize resources to support the public health mission. The second goal is to improve leveraging of technology. Also, Environmental Health (EH) has a QI goal of reducing the waste sent to a landfill. TCHD staff hope this project will integrate procedural and technological changes in the food inspection program that are aligned with cost savings goals, capacity increases, and eco-friendly goals. In addition to aligning with TCHD’s strategic plan, the QI initiative also assists TCHD in meeting Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) Standard 9.2 by continuing to bring QI processes to the forefront of the work and helps to support PHAB Standard 11.1 (Develop and Maintain an Operational Infrastructure to Support the Performance of Public Health Functions) by reinforcing the need for standardized procedures to insure consistent, efficient, and effective operational processes.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
TCHD
Citation: 

Burress, K. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. NNPHI Kaizen Program: Tazewell County Health Department Food Inspection Process. Mon, 12/14/2015 - 13:50. Available at https://www.phqix.org/content/nnphi-kaizen-program-tazewell-county-health-department-food-inspection-process. Accessed August 19, 2018.

Submission Status: 
Completed
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Comments

Submitted by kburress on

Learning and implementing the Kaizen QI process within our health department has really help to enliven our QI plan throughout.

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cgizzi's picture
Submitted by cgizzi on

Karla, thanks for including so much great detail in your submission. I look forward to seeing the results. I will definitely forward this to our food inspection folks.

Cindan Gizzi, MPH
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
cgizzi@tpchd.org

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Submitted by kburress on

I just added the updated measure documents. We continue to see improvement in both time and supplies used!!

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Submitted by kburress on

I just uploaded the most recent measure document.  For the last 3 time studies, we have maintained a consistent time around 53-56 minutes.  We will continue monthly time studies through March 2015.  After that, our plan is to do quarterly time studies to insure that we continue to maintain that time.  If we would begin to increase in time, we would go back to our continual improvement system and do some root cause analysis.  

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