Health Departments across the nation are working to provide services following a set standard of care. Although, there is nothing new about core functions and essential services provided by health departments, there is now a requirement to move toward becoming an Accredited Public Health Department. What this means to the community is that all Health Department’s across the nation will provide services and care based on a set standard. This is the same concept as the Standard of Care you expect to receive from hospitals which are accredited. Within the state of Ohio, the mandate is to be Accreditation ready by 2018, with Accreditation achieved by 2020.
Since 2013, the Kenton-Hardin Health Department (KHHD) Administration Team has been meeting monthly on the first Tuesday of every month. During the meetings, each Division is discussed, including the Accreditation Pathway, Policies, Quality Improvement, and Planning Development; and Accreditation Education has been integrated in the monthly Board of Health meetings.
In the 2014 year, a Community Health Assessment Advisory Committee was formed. The Kenton-Hardin Health Department worked and collaborated with Community Partners to see the first Comprehensive Community Health Assessment conducted in 2014 and released in 2015. To meet standards this process will be repeated every three years.
In the 2016 year, Kenton-Hardin Health Department revamped the Mission of the Health Department and created a Vision and Value Statements, developed Domain Teams and Leaders. and began the process of preparing documentation according to the guidance contained in the standards and measures for application. In May 2016, the initial Community Health Improvement Planning meeting was conducted with external partners and stakeholders from the county, as well as internal groups such as the Board of Health and the Kenton-Hardin Health Department staff members. In October 2016 KHHD received a CHIP Grant to continue the process with the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio Association. In October 2016, the first Quality Improvement initiative: to increase current substance abuse data from sources & substance abuse data was initiated.
The Strategic Plan for the Health Department has been in process since 2015. As of December 2016, the Board of Health met and completed Strategic Planning Inputs for the Plan. Staff members, along with the Administration Team and the Board of Health, have reviewed and approved the Hardin County Procedural Handbook; wrote and approved the Kenton-Hardin Health Department Branding Policy, the Workforce Development Plan, and the Quality Improvement Plan for the Health Department.
In 2017 the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) followed by the Health Department Strategic Plan were completed.
The Health Department continues to move forward with Accreditation initiatives. The Health Department is currently in the process of applying for Accreditation. The application is to be complete in February 2018. The Department has recently held a quarterly Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) meeting; at this meeting partners and stakeholders discuss action steps taken in priority sections of the Plan. The annual review of the CHIP is set for May 2018. Any community member who would like to become a part of the CHIP committee may contact the Health Department for more information. The Health Department is in the process of creating public dashboards with information surrounding substance overdose and death in Hardin County, project to be complete in May 2018. This year marks the need for the next Community Health Assessment (CHA) process. All Local Health Departments are required to collaborate with local hospitals, and move from a 5-year CHA plan to a 3-year plan.
The Hardin County Community Health Assessment, the Community Health Improvement Plan and Strategic Plan can be found on the Kenton-Hardin Health Department webpage under Accreditation or the Network of Care for Hardin County http://hardin.oh.networkofcare.org/ph/. If you would like more information on this process or to view the Standards and Measures of Public Health for Accreditation please visit http://www.phaboard.org, or google Public Health Accreditation Board.