- Last Updated on Monday, 15 September 2014 20:51
The Center for Public Health Quality, working together with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Public Health Foundation, has been developing and piloting the Community Health Improvement Application (IMAPP), a web-based, user-friendly resource that allows community partnerships the ability to apply filters (such as time to implement, cost to implement, and the settings involved) to help select evidence-based interventions (EBIs) that are most appropriate for their community. Importantly, IMAPP also provides extensive assistance with implementation for each EBI.
The first phase of this project, from August 2012 to May 2013, was a collaborative effort with four local health departments and their community partners. Teams from Buncombe, Catawba, Cleveland, and Henderson counties in North Carolina formed the IMAPP User Group, which reviewed and made numerous recommendations to improve the IMAPP. The User Group’s recommendations have already dramatically improved the usefulness of the IMAPP for communities. According to Greg Randolph, the IMAPP Project Lead, “We knew the input from communities would be extremely helpful in designing IMAPP, but we were still kind of blown away with the extent and indispensable nature of the User Group’s ideas and feedback – it was just phenomenal.”
“I have greatly enjoyed our work with the IMAPP initiative and have appreciated the opportunity to influence the development of a potentially game-changing tool for public health and our partners,” said Marian Arledge, Community Development Specialist for the Buncombe County Health Department. “This tool will empower organizations from many sectors to implement evidence-based improvements in their communities, and I am glad to have been a part of it.”
IMAPP has also been guided by a National Advisory Committee consisting of a diverse group of national public health and health care organizations that provides guidance on integrating IMAPP with other EBI resources and gaining buy-in and support from stakeholders to spread the iMap upon completion.
Dr. Peggy Honore, who serves as the Director of the Public Health System, Finance, and Quality Program in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, summarized the first phase’s overall success and the important contributions of the IMAPP User group. "The Center for Public Health Quality, under the leadership of Dr. Greg Randolph and his staff, has done an incredible job of developing the Community Health Improvement Application (IMAPP). The IMAPP represents a practice-based tool to guide agency quality improvement projects using the HHS 9 Aims for quality in public health. Development of the IMAPP is a major milestone for mainstreaming the quality concepts throughout public health and in other sectors of health that address public health issues. The representatives from North Carolina public health agencies from across the state working with the Center for Public Health Quality demonstrated a level of knowledge and enthusiasm that deserves the highest level of recognition and will play an important role in the success of this project".
The second phase of IMAPP development will begin in July. This phase will further refine IMAPP’s functionality with a larger and broader set of community partnerships and will lay the groundwork for the 3rd and final stage, a national launch in 2014.