• Development/enhancement of the assessment (monitoring and evaluation) knowledge and skills of workers in public health and related settings

      Telfair, Joseph; Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: A critical task of public health is the development and assessment of programs to address needs, concerns and issues of populations. The overall purpose of this workshop is to enhance the core public health workforce functional knowledge and skills (competencies) in the areas of program development and evaluation leading to improvements in population health and reducing health disparities. Methods: The hour long workshop will serve as an introduction and review of methods of program monitoring and assessment (M & A). The training approach will be an oral presentation with PowerPoint slides and hands -on practice that will include review of M & A terminology and review of M & A basic methodologies. Results: (Outcomes) Participants will become familiar with the basic terms and methods of program monitoring and assessment (M & A). Conclusions: The topics of this workshop will primarily benefit state and local health departments and public health districts that share services and face challenges in building or enhancing their functional public health knowledge and skills, improvement efforts and the documentation of those efforts.
    • EMS 2020: A multi-year SWOT and financial analysis of Georgia’s emergency medical services system

      Owens, Charles; Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: As Georgia’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system approaches 50 years in operation, the Georgia EMS Association and Georgia Southern University’s Center for Public Health Practice and Research began an evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing Georgia’s EMS system. Methods: During the first year of the study, eight meetings were held across Georgia involving EMTs, physicians, hospital administrators, emergency planners, and state policy makers to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing the system. Results: Results obtained during the first year of this study offered valuable insight into current and future factors affecting the ability of Georgia’s EMS system to provide effective care to an expanding population. Conclusions: Quality of care, financial solvency, community paramedicine models, and reimbursement strategies were discussed and numerous strategies were evaluated to improve EMS operations in both urban and rural populations.
    • Kaizen: Improving patient flow

      Roberts, Gurleen; Kennedy, Jack; Smythe, Catharine; Krahwinkel, Dawn; Green, Melissa; Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Since Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) achieved accreditation in May 2015, efforts to mature a culture of quality have been emphasized. In addition, the Adult Health Clinic moved to a new facility in Spring 2016. This move has improved many patient flow issues, but also has had unexpected consequences that spurred interest in doing several quality improvement (QI) projects. Methods: Rather than doing one QI project at a time, a kaizen event was held. Kaizen is a Japanese term for continuous improvement. This workshop allowed the Adult Health Team to plan seven QI projects and implement them simultaneously over the next several weeks. After the first six weeks of implementation, nearly 14 different projects were in various stages of the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle. Baseline average patient flow for 1880 patient encounters was 75.11 minutes. Results: Results are still pending. Preliminary results reflect increased collaboration among clinic staff and an increase in staff members taking the initiative to make improvements. Employee morale has improved, and employee and customer satisfaction seems to be improved. Conclusions: The Adult Health Clinic used the LEAN methodology to reduce waste in the patient flow process and used the PDSA framework to structure their 14 QI projects. A kaizen event allows rapid improvements to be planned and implemented in a short period of time.
    • Solo practice physicians in Georgia

      Mutiso, Fedelis; Akowuah, Emmanuel; Opoku, Samuel; Apenteng, Bettye; Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Office-based physicians can practice in a solo or group setting. Solo physician practices are staffed by a single physician who is responsible for all the care of the patients. Physicians in solo practices are also responsible for the infrastructure, personnel and investment cost of their practices. Further, evidence suggests that physicians in solo practices are more likely to be dissatisfied with their medical career compared to those in group practices. Given these challenges, current trend suggests a shift away from solo physician practices. However, there are still physicians in solo practices in Georgia but little is known about them. This study attempts to characterize the physicians working in solo practices and in so doing, add to the growing knowledge of the healthcare workforce in Georgia. Methods: The 2014 Physician Compare data were used for this study. This database contains information on individual physician level characteristics including gender, credential, primary specialty and practice type. The data were linked to the 2014 Area Resource File to provide information on the rural/urban location of physician practices. Physician practices were classified as rural or urban based on the Economic Research Service classification. Chi square and t-tests were carried out to examine the characteristics of physicians practicing in solo practices. Statistical analyses were conducted in StataMP 14. Results: Of the 13,499 Georgia physicians studied, 1448 physicians were in solo practices. The majority of these physicians were in urban areas (78.30%; p<0.001), male (72.18% p<0.001), had primary care specialties (46.31% p<0.001) and more experience in practice (27.6 years; p<0.001). In addition, almost three quarters did not use electronic health records (71.97% p<0.001) and the majority did not report on quality measures to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (66.7%; p<0.001). Conclusions: There are a large number of physicians in solo practices in Georgia. Given the challenges facing these physicians, it is important for Georgia to consider approaches to decrease the burden on physicians working in solo practices.