Located in the scenic state of Wisconsin, Winnebago County Health Department is known for its commitment to fostering a healthy and safe environment for its community. With a dedicated team of 50 professionals – public health nurses, community health strategists, sanitarians, and dieticians, among others – the health department faced a common challenge in the sector: managing and communicating performance. 

Public health leaders Heidi Keating, Julia Salomon, and Sarahjean Schluechtermann discuss performance management practices with ClearPoint Strategy co-founder Ted Jackson in our customer interview webinar.

Watch the full panel discussion here!

Strategic Structure

The department went through a strategic planning process in late 2019, including plans for each division and strategies that overlapped. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, these plans never had the chance to launch.

It worked, but it was very siloed. We are finding out that with ClearPoint, we are breaking down those silos.

The Health Department sought to enhance its strategic planning and execution capabilities to better serve its community. Committed to improving public health outcomes, the department recognized the need for a more structured and efficient approach to managing its initiatives and performance measures.

The department is structured into six distinct divisions:

  • Administrative 
  • Communicable Disease
  • Environmental Health
  • Community Health and Prevention
  • Women Infant Children (WIC) and
  • Healthy Lifespan

Each division relied on its own methods, primarily Excel files, to track and manage data. This approach was effective for data collection, but fell short in creating a unified standard for sharing information across divisions. The people working closely with the data were able to make their own inferences, but the communication stopped at there, with no means to share results in a digestible and appealing way. 

Salomon, supervisor of the Administrative Division where planning and performance management are centralized, highlights the era as a time when data was well-monitored within divisions, but lacked a collaborative space for department-wide analysis. The absence of a platform to collectively review data meant missed opportunities for cross-divisional insights and recommendations.

There's power in asking somebody who's not doing that work, "What do you see that I may not be seeing?" There was not a space to do that.

Performance Management with ClearPoint Strategy

Post-pandemic, Winnebago Health Department identified a need to elevate its strategic planning and management processes to better address community health challenges. In response, the department integrated ClearPoint Strategy, a decision driven by the platform’s intuitive user interface and array of features designed to streamline the strategy management process.

See an inside the county’s ClearPoint account in our webinar (23:50)!

Highlighted Benefits

The integration of ClearPoint has significantly improved the department's strategic management processes. These enhancements have not only streamlined internal operations, but also fostered a more collaborative and data-driven culture:

User-Friendly Navigation

ClearPoint’s user interface allows Winnebago's team to easily access various critical modules, such as scorecards, reports, and strategic elements. This straightforward navigation has facilitated a smoother strategic management process.

Enhanced Collaboration

Discussions have enabled team members to engage more effectively within the ClearPoint platform. By tagging colleagues in comments related to strategic elements and reports, ClearPoint has transformed the way team members collaborate, an environment essential for the iterative nature of strategic planning.

Strategic Alignment

The platform’s scorecards and elements provide a consolidated view of all strategy components, like objectives, measures, and initiatives. This alignment ensures that team efforts are consistently linked to overarching departmental goals.

Efficient Reporting

ClearPoint's robust reporting capabilities enhance the department's ability to communicate results – instrumental in keeping both internal and external stakeholders informed about progress, achievements, and outcomes.

Performance Management Champions

The county has innovatively established a role known as the "Performance Management Champion" within each of its departmental divisions. This strategic move ensures that the responsibility of data management and performance tracking doesn't overly burden just a few individuals, but is rather distributed among those who are familiar with their division's specific operations.

These Performance Management Champs, deeply embedded in their respective fields, bring nuance to metrics that are most impactful and how those metrics align with broader community health goals. This insider knowledge makes them particularly effective in identifying and highlighting the measures that tell the most compelling stories about the department's work and outcomes.

ClearPoint helps us focus on what data points tell the story we want to tell others.

Taking their role a step further, these champions actively participate in leadership meetings, offering a window into their divisions through presentations of dashboards and measures within ClearPoint. For staff members who do not have direct access to the platform, champions leverage HTML exports to share insights, ensuring transparency and broader understanding. This approach enables a more integrated view of performance metrics across the entire department and enriches team discussions with granular details that might otherwise remain obscured.

By bringing critical measures into a single, accessible platform, the department has illuminated trends and insights that were previously segmented across divisions. This holistic visibility has been enlightening for the entire team, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and strategic alignment in the department’s collective pursuit of positive community health outcomes.

The Future with ClearPoint Strategy

The adoption of ClearPoint’s software solution represented a pivotal shift in how Winnebago County Health Department managed its performance data. ClearPoint facilitated the breakdown of silos by providing a shared space where all divisions could visualize and discuss their data. Further enhanced by the establishment of Performance Management Champions, the impact of creating a culture centered around performance has been profound. 

Staff across divisions have gained a deeper understanding of their colleagues' work, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose. The platform's ability to highlight data trends has empowered the department to tell a more compelling story, focusing on the metrics that matter most.

Looking ahead, Winnebago County Health Department is poised to leverage ClearPoint in new and innovative ways. With a new strategic plan on the horizon, and following the completion of a comprehensive Community Health Assessment (CHA), the department plans to use this data to determine priorities and integrate the Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs) that follow into the platform. This plan, broader in scope and involving community partners, aims to address community-wide health needs. ClearPoint Strategy will play a crucial role in visualizing this data, aligning departmental and community efforts, and facilitating data-driven decision-making.

Winnebago County Public Health's experience with ClearPoint Strategy demonstrates the value of sophisticated strategy management tools. The department's ability to more effectively manage and execute operations has made it better equipped to serve its community and meet the evolving health needs of its residents. With more coordinated efforts, the team now has the capacity to focus on what matters most: driving positive public health outcomes.

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