The average person likely will not see an obvious change, but DHHS deputy director of Public Health Judy Martin says quality and performance should be noticeable.
“(Accreditation) means the processes we have internally are the most effective and efficient as possible,” Martin tells Nebraska Radio Network, “and in the end that will benefit the citizens and the communities in the state.”
The accreditation process took the Public Health Division five years. Nebraska now joins 18 other state health departments in achieving the milestone.
The process helped the Division improve programs to make Nebraskans healthier and Martin says it also made them plan for the future when a significant number of employees retire.
“And the other thing was there are just a lot of things we do day in and day out and some of those things, honestly, weren’t written down and documented,” she says. “We’ve become a lot better about making sure we’re documenting processes.”
The team from the Public Health Accreditation Board looked at 108 standards when reviewing the Division.
Nebraska’s health department stood out for measuring the public’s health status and developing plans and partnerships to improve certain areas, among other qualities.
“It’s not just check a box and we’re done. It’s really the beginning of additional work to stay accredited, to continue those quality improvements processes,” Martin says. “We really just wanted to keep moving forward and keep challenging ourselves to get to the next level.”