Taking the Whoop out of a Pertussis Outbreak: Improving a Community's Pertussis Mitigation Efforts

Summary

Impact Statement: 
Taking the whoop out of a Pertussis outbreak and enhancing a community's pertussis mitigation effort by using improved early identification and isolation outcomes methods to decrease the number of days between onset and the report of disease.
Summary: 
This initiative sought to improve early identification and isolation outcomes related to pertussis. Pertussis is a common disease in the United States, with peaks every 3–5 years and frequent outbreaks. It is highly communicable and can be deadly for infants. In 2012, Cerro Gordo County experienced a significant outbreak, with identification and isolation averaging 16.4 days per case. The length of time between identification and isolation unnecessarily exposed others to the highly contagious disease. Local health department staff coordinated a team of specialists and stakeholders to address the process of pertussis identification, isolation, and treatment. The chosen team consisted of a school nurse, an epidemiologist, a child care nurse consultant, the hospital infection control prevention nurse, and a clinic quality nurse in the regional medical system. Each of these professionals had the expertise to provide data and current processes, and each had the influence to guide change in their respective organizations. This project sought to slow the spread of disease by decreasing the number of days between identification and isolation through use of multiple quality improvement (QI) tools. Several documents were revised, and new protocols and tools were developed for each of the stakeholder agencies, which included child care centers, medical systems, and schools. The new process could not be tested in real time, because the pertussis outbreak waned during the QI process.
Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health
Citation: 

Crimmings, K. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Taking the Whoop out of a Pertussis Outbreak: Improving a Community's Pertussis Mitigation Efforts. Wed, 03/08/2017 - 14:22. Available at https://www.phqix.org/content/taking-whoop-out-pertussis-outbreak-improving-communitys-pertussis-mitigation-efforts. Accessed February 24, 2018.

Submission Status: 
Completed
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