Improving the Quality of Community Collaboration:
Communication, Empowerment and Diversity
Team Members: Sonja Armbruster (Project Manager), Ty Kane, Anne Nelson, and Diane Hurst
Identify an opportunity and Plan for Improvement
Revised Aim: By November 30, 2012, improve the quality of the community health improvement process collaboration related to communication, empowerment, and recruitment of diverse people and organizations as evidenced by results of the CACSH Partnership Self Assessment; lowest score response categories summing to greater than 20% will be reduced by at least 10%.
The team created a brief as-is Flow Chart of the current process for inviting participation in the CHIP work, which identified an obvious flaw related to engaging more and diverse partners.
A Force Field Analysis was conducted on one opportunity for improvement--Engaging more unusual voices. In that process, the QI project team identified another community partner who is excelling at engaging unusual voices to be leaders and owners of collaborative community work. A key informant interview was conducted with that partner to better inform the planned intervention.
Test the Theory for Improvement
- 6. Test the Theory
- Sixty letters were mailed (August 30th) to current and targeted new members of the Health Alliance inviting them to participate in an intensive leadership academy & five executive coaching sessions. Twenty-four applied, including nine who had attended zero or one Health Alliance meeting in the past year. The Health Leadership Academy was held October 8-11, 2012.
- 20% of participants rated their experience as “The Very Best” compared to other leadership trainings.
- 38% of participants rated the faculty as “The Very Best” compared to faculty from other leadership trainings.
- 100% agreed or strongly agreed that they gained new insights on civic leadership and that they recognize the connection between leadership and stronger, healthier, more prosperous communities.
- Problems included several people who had conflicts with the date or reported four days away from the office was too much to give. One participant dropped out of the training during the four-day session.
- Getting Started
- The Community Health Improvement Planning (CHIP) process and community team participation was strong through the assessment and prioritization phase, but member participation began to wane as it was time to gear up for action.
- Assemble The Team
- The project team met four times in person in addition to email communications. The stakeholders included over fifty Visioneering Health Alliance members. A RASIC chart was used to identify team member roles and responsibilities. A Gantt Chart for this project was created using Microsoft Project.
- Examine the Current Approach
- First, baseline data was needed to assess coalition member perspectives related to the synergy, leadership, efficiency, and benefits of the partnership as well as the number of individuals and organizations actively engaged in the aims of the Visioneering Health Alliance. Partnership Assessment questions were pulled from an instrument created by the Center for the Advancement of Collaborative Strategies in Health. A paper instrument was shared at a regularly scheduled monthly meeting, June 26, 2012; and electronically using Question Pro, a web-based survey tool, to the members who were not present.
- Results were shared with the full alliance and themes related to strengths and opportunities for improvement were identified using Brainstorming. Analysis showed that members were largely satisfied with the quality of the partnership.
- Three questions, among the twenty-one five point likert scale questions, yielded responses where the two lowest score categories summed to 20% or more of respondents.These were considered areas needing greatest improvement. Based on this analysis, the aim statement was revised.
Standardize the Improvement and Establish Future Plans
Use Data to Study Results
of the Test
- 4. Identify Potential Solutions
- First, Using the Circles of Involvement tool created by TOP Facilitation, additional leaders related to health issues were listed and contact information gathered.
- Second, a Health Leadership Academy was being developed, and it was proposed that both current and proposed Health Alliance members participate in that intensive training workshop.
- 7. Study the Results
- A post-test of the Partnership Assessment was conducted using only the three selected areas for improvement. The June pre-test resulted in 19 respondents and the November post-test resulted in 24 respondents; a 26% increase in members committed as evidenced by their dedication of time spent assessing the value of this partnership.
- The three charts in the following column illustrate improvement for all three questions of interest.
- 8. Standardize the Improvement or Develop a New Theory
- The Visioneering Health Alliance is making plans to standardize this intervention by training an additional 400 community members with leadership training to improve action related to the five health priorities.
- 9. Establish Future Plans
- Through our many community partners, including media partners, these efforts are being promoted. We plan to evaluate and adjust the training program after each iteration. Further, the full Partnership Assessment will be conducted at least every two years to assure continued intentional efforts to improve engagement.
- 5. Develop an Improvement Theory
- We predicted that if new sectors/organizations/people were invited and if the experience was meaningful, we could improve effectiveness related to communication, empowerment, and recruitment of diverse people and organizations.