Past Collaboratives

Before the AF4Q Language Quality Improvement Collaborative (LQIC), staff at Valley Medical Center in Renton, Wash., part of the Puget Sound Alliance, thought language services processes were hardwired, but discovered there were gaps – especially when it came to communicating the patients’ preferred language to clinical staff. In addition to making changes to their registration system, the team educated providers, added a language category to the daily census sheet, placed “I Speak [language]” reminders in patient charts and in the patient room, created an “...

Compared to all other Truman Medical Center (TMC) patients, those with heart failure (HF) were found to have twice the number of emergency department visits, five times the number of hospitalizations and five times the cost. To tackle this issue, TMC, part of the Kansas City Alliance and a member of the AF4Q Equity Quality Improvement Collaborative (EQIC), implemented a standardized approach to HF education at discharge, called “Living with Heart Failure.” A health coach uses this to reinforce self-management skills during post-discharge follow-up calls. For those who also...

Past Collaboratives:

Addressing racial, ethnic, and linguistic barriers to quality health care is an integral  part of Aligning Forces for Quality. While this work is visible in the Hospital Quality Network (HQN), many of the our current efforts find legacy with two past collaboratives: the Equity Quality Improvement Collaborative and the Language Quality Improvement Collaborative.

Read the Final Reports




EQIC - Equity Quality Improvement Collaborative:

Although the quality of health care is poor for many Americans, some specific racial and ethnic groups continue to experience lower-quality health care when compared to White patients. Even when access to care is equal, research consistently shows this to be true. Convincing evidence of these disparities can be seen in cardiovascular care where, for example, Black patients with coronary artery disease or heart attacks are significantly less likely than White patients to receive appropriate procedures or therapies. 
Eight hospitals participated in the Aligning Forces for Quality: Equity Quality Improvement Collaborative, a “learning collaborative” which tested strategies, quantified results and shared lessons learned to improve care for heart attack and heart failure patients. Over the 18 months of the collaborative, hospitals worked to identify and address racial and ethnic disparities in cardiac care and test real-world solutions. Participants submitted aggregated data stratified by REL and reported on seven key measures monthly to the AF4Q National Program Office. Read the Final report here.

LQIC - Language Quality Improvement Collaborative:
As America becomes more multicultural and multilingual, hospitals and clinicians face a growing challenge of how to provide high-quality care to more than 20 million people who speak or understand little, if any, English. Research has consistently shown that people with limited English proficiency (LEP) have greater difficulty obtaining health care, receive less primary care, obtain fewer preventive services and are generally less satisfied with their care.
The nine hospitals participating in the Aligning Forces for Quality: Language Quality Improvement Collaborative identified and tested strategies for hospitals to provide timely, effective language services to patients with limited English proficiency. Over 16 months, the participating hospitals aggregated data and reported on five key measures monthly to the AF4Q National Program Office. Read the Final report here.