Total Quality Transformation at S:US
In my first year at S:US, I’ve seen firsthand what sets S:US apart from other agencies in the health and human services sector. In my visits to program sites, I see the quality of our staff and the services we provide. I see your commitment to the people we serve and your creativity in addressing barriers and solving problems on their behalf. We will need this commitment and dedication to quality as we take on more challenges in creating a more integrated system of care and ultimately to fulfill our mission to righting societal imbalances and driving scalable solutions to transform the lives of the people we serve.
To do this this at a greater scale, we are reorganizing our Evaluation and Practice Innovation (EPI) team and pivoting to undergo a Total Quality Transformation across S:US. The EPI team has historically worked under Behavioral Health but we will be renaming and refocusing the group into the Innovation & Quality Department. This newly reconfigured department, with some changes in staffing roles and responsibilities, will serve programs and operations to lead quality improvement efforts and bring in new programming and practices. Led by Erin Palmer, newly promoted to SVP, the department will report directly to me to ensure we are moving towards meaningful outcomes and data-driven practices.
We understand that quality looks different in different parts of the organization. For a shelter it may be creating an environment that is more welcoming to help people in crisis, for real estate it’s finding a way to get people into vacant units in a timely manner, for finance it may be increasing billable services, for an ACT team it may be offering that extra level of support to get people to their appointment, for individuals with I/DD it may be finding a new Supported Employment opportunity, or in Human Resources it might be implementing a new Tuition Assistance Program. Regardless of what quality looks like in your day-to-day, our goal is to have a unified data-informed approach, a shared language to how we define and achieve quality, and a centralized team to support us all in this Total Quality Transformation.
Here are a few areas that the Innovation and Quality team is working on and how they’re doing it:
- Create a more inclusive approach to program evaluation and program design.
Leading a Growth Opportunities meeting to bring staff from all areas of the agency into decision making for new areas of growth that are additive/complementary to the underlying work that we already do.
Collaborating with program staff from all areas and levels to design new programs and initiatives that expand upon S:US’ work to build upon our success.
Bringing in more input from the people we serve through surveys, focus groups and the Elevating S:US Voices workgroup.
- Provide training and consultation in Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) methods.
Interviewing senior leadership on best practices in quality and improvement.
Creating a training for all levels of staff to support CQI.
Using Root Cause Analysis, Driver Diagrams, and PDSA tools to support change and improvement.
- Create meaningful measures that show the impact of your work
Interviewing program and support staff to map out your aim and outcomes.
Collaborating with IT to make data more streamlined and actionable.
Creating agency-level outcomes that show the innovation and value of our work.
- Create a Data-Driven culture focused on quality.
Leading a data literacy training for all levels of staff to better understand data and how it relates to their work.
Working with QA and training to have standard practices and a shared language on approaching quality improvement.
- Promote S:US as a leader in the field.
Managing successfully four SAMHSA research grants.
Piloting and evaluating new programming opportunities.
I am confident that this large-scale, agency-wide, multi-phased transformation will allow us to continue to grow, evolve and be better every day as we create opportunities for all.