On July 16, 2020, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (“DHSS”) issued its Strategic Plan (the “Plan”), which focuses on efficiency and accountability reflecting the priorities of Governor John Carney’s Government Efficiency and Accountability Review Board (“GEAR”). This focus led to an assessment of Delaware’s health care spending and preparation of health outcome benchmarks in an effort to transform quality of care, ensure financial strength, and prioritize social factors related to outcomes.

DHSS is a state agency dedicated to meeting specific basic needs of Delaware families and individuals. DHSS’s mission is: “To improve the quality of life for Delaware citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self‑sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.” As part of this mission, DHSS’s strategic planning committee, comprised of leaders from across the DHSS’s divisions, provided meaningful input regarding patient-centered care delivery and performance assessment.

The Plan’s foundational themes are customer service, measurable outcomes and coordination of funding. These themes form the foundation of the Plan’s six goals:

  1. Develop a person-centered approach to the service delivery system to meet the multi‑faceted needs of individuals and families;
  2. Improve the public health and safety infrastructure to protect the well-being of all Delawareans;
  3. Build, align and strengthen the DHSS workforce to meet current and future service needs;
  4. Enhance and integrate data to support data-driven decision making and increase access to shared information within the department, its divisions and across the state;
  5. Promote inclusive and routine communication among DHSS leadership, staff, stakeholders and clients; and
  6. Strengthen the department‑wide planning structure to support continuous improvement and increase efficiency, including routinely capturing feedback from staff, customers and stakeholders.

The Plan was released after 14 months of analysis and preparation. The 60-day comment period recently ended on September 15th. You can access a copy of the Plan here and DHSS’s press release here.