The Case for Patient-Centered Care
Moving to a patient-centered model of care generates real change and improves care. Four AF4Q communities (Humboldt County, South Central Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Maine) were recently featured in an article in the February issue of Health Affairs. “Early Lessons From Four ‘Aligning Forces For Quality’ Communities Bolster The Case For Patient-Centered Care” highlighted the work of these Alliances to engage patients actively in improving care. These communities’ work adds to the mounting case for engaging patients in this way to achieve high-quality, patient-centered care.
Lessons from these four Alliances illustrate that actively working with patients in improving ambulatory care improves provider-patient communication, identifies and avoids potential challenges to new services, and improves provider and patient satisfaction.
See our work in Health Affairs.
AF4Q Lessons Learned: Engaging Consumers to Improve Ambulatory Care
A growing number of quality improvement projects are enabling patients, families, and advocates to advise and affect decision-making within their local health care systems. This new report from Aligning Forces for Quality shares the experiences of Humboldt County, Oregon, Minnesota, Maine, and South Central Pennsylvania, who are each engaging consumers to improve ambulatory care. While each approach is different, each communities’ effort demonstrates that including consumers across the continuum of quality improvement helps communities move toward a health care system that delivers high-quality, patient-centered care.
Read the entire Lessons Learned piece here.
Engaging Patients in Improving Ambulatory Care
Patients are the heart of any primary care practice. Patients and practices share a mission to improve patient health—a mission in which both parties play indispensable roles. Three AF4Q Alliances (Humboldt County, Maine, and Oregon) have developed a compendium of resources that details the implementation of patient engagement strategy. The toolkit provides case studies and insights into patient recruitment and training, clarifying roles and responsibilities, and developing a sustainable structure that fosters ongoing, productive relationships. The compendium is accompanied by video segments, which offer lessons and tips for effectively engaging patients in improving care. These three communities were among the first in AF4Q to implement this kind of patient engagement strategy on a broad scale, but others are following suit, and all are finding success and positive response, leading them to expand their efforts.
Communities across the U.S. are striving to improve how care is delivered and embracing new and innovated ideas. Who better to involve than the people who get the care? Five AF4Q Alliances share how involving patients in quality improvement work is transforming ambulatory care.
Making Info Knowledge
Creating transparency in health care quality is a goal of health reform, and AF4Q communities are blazing trails determining how best to display and communicate health care quality information to consumers. Read recommendations from eight of the AF4Q communities on how best to design or redesign your website to make it more consumer friendly.
Down to Business
Employers are the largest health care purchasers in America; yet they often play a passive role in cost and quality decisions. RWJF and AF4Q Alliances are partnering with businesses to help lift the overall quality of health care.
Many communities are working to improve care quality and reduce costly hospital readmissions. Reducing hospital inpatient readmissions is a key strategy for improving quality while reducing costs. Learn how four AF4Q communities are tackling this challenge.
Revolving Hospital Door
Nearly 20% of patients discharged from the hospital return with problems serious enough to be admitted again. Every community has unique challenges and requires tailored solutions. Alliances in Cleveland, Oregon and Humboldt County work with care coaches, payment reforms, discharge planning and other strategies to reduce readmissions.
EHRs Improve Care
Researchers in AF4Q Cleveland found improvements in the quality of diabetes care — across insurance and socioeconomic status — in practices that used electronic health records, compared to those that were paper-based. The results were published in the recent issue of NEJM.
Putting Cost on the Table
Facing adding cost and efficiency measures to reports of quality performance data, 3 AF4Q pioneers say to start work early, engage communities, begin with easily accessible metrics, and release data to health care professionals first.