Reducing Readmissions

At least 7.5 million people have signed up for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act exchanges, and the number is still rising. The question now is where exactly do these patients go to find their affordable care?
The Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) program in Detroit, led by the Greater Detroit Area Health Council (GDAHC), is helping its residents easily locate the care they need with its Find MI Care initiative. Patients in Michigan looking for a doctor or other health care services can use the Find MI Care website (...

When MN Community Measurement, leader of AF4Q in Minnesota, first started publicly reporting data, the belief was that patients would use the data to make choices about what doctor to see. This, in turn, would drive improvement. What has been surprising, according to Jim Chase, president of MN Community Measurement, is the amount of attention providers have given the public reports and the comparisons they make to their peers’ performance. “We’ve been using it in a variety of ways: to improve our services, to improve our clinical workflows, to implement tools so we could...

Quality Field Notes features key lessons learned by regional alliances of clinicians, patients, and payers in Aligning Forces for Quality communities as they work to transform local health care and provide models for national reform. The first topic in this series focuses on reducing inappropriate emergency department use. Seventy percent of visits to emergency department (ED) are not true emergencies or could be prevented with...

Care About Your Care

Readmission of patients recently discharged after hospitalization represents an expensive, dangerous, and all-too-common lapse in the quality of care delivered in the U.S. health care system. Addressing readmissions by improving care transitions is important to your care and health care as a whole.

  • Nearly 20% of Medicare patients return to the hospital within a month after discharge, costing $12 billion per year.
  • 90% of rehospitalizations within 30 days are unplanned

AF4Q Alliances, including 77 hospital teams, participated in an effort to reduce readmissions. Below are their lessons and other resources to help 'Care About Your Care'.

Visit the RWJF 'Care About Your Care' webpage to learn more.

Learn more about AF4Q's hospital quality initiatives here.

For 18 months, nearly 150 hospital teams participated in a prestigious national program to improve the quality and safety of patient care in hospitals. The effort is part of Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s signature effort to improve the quality of health care in 16 targeted communities across the country, reduce disparities, and provide models of reform.

Ninety percent of the hospital teams participating in this AF4Q hospital quality improvement collaborative improved the quality of care for their patients in measurable ways, resulting in hundreds of avoided readmissions; improved patient safety; standardized data collection on patients’ race, ethnicity and language preference (R/E/L), a critical part of tracking and meeting diverse patient needs; and improved emergency department (ED) care.

Hospitals participating in the effort were part of a virtual network where they developed, shared, and implemented quality improvement tools, strategies, and lessons learned. The project was funded by RWJF and supported by experts at the George Washington University in Washington, DC.