Health Communications in Federal Reorganization
In November of 2019, Karna embarked on a contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to begin revising and collating the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for The National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH)/Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR) in preparation for the CDC’s reorganization. The objective was to support the development and revision of SOPs. This involved combining existing ATDSR documents that outlined processes and procedures germane to Time & Attendance, Travel, Managing Accounting Credit Card System (MACCS), and Recruiting & Onboarding. Updating SOPs is an essential element to organizational restructuring; updating points of contact, procedure modification, integration of new information and process streamlining are necessary to ensure the uninterrupted continuation of operations.
Updating the documents mentioned above based on collected data and best practices is central to reorganization. The SOPs which integrate activities completed in both Division of Community Health Investigations (DCHI) and Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences (DTHHS) focus on usage by the end customer for each. The inclusion of previous updates and revisions at the NCEH Office of Management Analytics (OMA) and ATSDR level are incorporated to avoid rework.
It is incumbent on contractors to validate revised approaches with CDC stakeholders and test their efficacy with staff members. In addition to this revision, redesigning of SOP formats using updated and approved branding and templates related to current CDC Style Guides are required to ensure uniformity and consistency across all documents. The utilization of revised process approaches and templates, authorized and approved by CDC stakeholders, is how we execute the collation of SOPs.
For quality assurance, we meticulously examined each document to ensure all contact information was up-to-date, roles/responsibilities were clearly defined, and hyperlinks worked. In addition, it is necessary to ensure 508 compliance for all published materials. This is vital to the integrity and reliability of all processes and information.
Health Communication refers to the study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence decisions and actions to improve health. The Health Communications component of this contract spoke directly to the potential reach of the revised SOPs as well as their use by both current and future federal employees in the proper execution of their job duties. To ensure we meet our client’s needs and expectations, it is necessary that the information found in the SOPs is in direct alignment with messages generated by CDC. The procedures methodically outlined in the revised SOPs allow both federal and non-federal employees the ability to carry out their duties effectively, based on current and streamlined application of roles and job functions.
April 15, 2020 marked the end of the contract with the CDC. Based on initial feedback, we have exceeded the client’s expectations regarding deliverables and contractual obligations. We have established the groundwork for future efforts and opportunities to store the SOPs on the federal SharePoint site, as well as forthcoming supplementary materials.
Author: Troy Vaughan III, MPH, CC