A significant announcement comes from the Greater Boston Quality Coalition, a group of over thirty hospitals, community health centers, physician groups, business groups, and nonprofits. Here are excerpts:
The Greater Boston Quality Coalition (GBQC) announced today that it has been selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to participate in Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q), an unprecedented effort to lift the quality of health care provided in select communities nationwide.... Greater Boston joins 16 other select regions that are coordinating efforts to improve the quality of health care at hospitals and in doctors’ offices, reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care, and provide models for implementing national reform.
The work will be grounded on the core principle that in order to transform the health care system, everyone who gives care, gets care and pays for care must work together. The Greater Boston Quality Coalition’s AF4Q initiative will focus on four key areas:
-- Performance measurement and public reporting: using common standards to measure the quality of care that doctors and hospitals deliver to patients and making that information available to the public.
-- Consumer engagement: encouraging patients to be active managers of their health care, and make informed choices about their doctors and hospitals.
-- Quality improvement: implementing techniques and protocols that doctors, nurses and staff in hospitals and clinics can follow to raise the level of care they deliver to patients.
-- Health Equity: reducing disparities in care for patients of different races and ethnicities.
Specifically, the Coalition’s AF4Q initiative will initially center its work on reducing preventable emergency department visits and associated admissions. This indicator of primary care access, primary care effectiveness, appropriate treatment in community settings, and system integration has been overwhelmingly supported by GBQC stakeholders.