Driving an Aligned Agenda for Quality Improvement

Alignment around a common agenda is essential to achieve population-level improvements to health care quality and value. Alliances can facilitate alignment by identifying and prioritizing variations or gaps in quality, setting goals, and supporting stakeholders in implementing mutually reinforcing improvement activities to improve quality. They do this by supporting each stakeholder in identifying and defining their unique skillset and coordinating how those skillsets will be put to use in accomplishing agreed upon goals.[1] Such coordination can accelerate change in care delivery and payment reform, and maximize improvement across a geographic area.

Improving health care quality and value also requires targeted clinical quality improvements and transformative change to delivery and payment systems. Alliances can support providers in these activities through knowledge transfer and use of their rich data sets. Knowledge transfer activities can include leading learning collaboratives, exchanging best practices, facilitating agreement on new models of care delivery, piloting new models, and spreading successful ones.

All of these activities require access to timely, actionable data that align with local priorities. Alliances have flexible access to multi- or all-payer data that enable health care providers to design new models of care delivery and payment and meet new regulations and consumer expectations. Access to such combined claims, clinical, and demographic information (race, ethnicity, language, and socio-economic status) enables more robust performance measurement, stratification to identify disparities, and targeted quality improvement efforts, especially when focused on driving better health care outcomes. Alliances also gain the trust of providers by allowing for detailed analysis of the data that drills down to their specific patients. This drill-down capability is critical for ensuring both the validity and trust of the data, as well as for targeted quality improvement, whereby Alliances identify variation, rally stakeholders, set goals, and establish programs and learnings opportunities.

Accountability for Improved Quality and Value

Alliances’ access to data and status as trusted conveners allows them to monitor the short and long-term progress toward shared goals and hold stakeholders accountable for progress.  This is important for maintaining stakeholder engagement, building momentum, adapting or refining tactics where needed, and in building an economic case for collective impact. Being able to quantify the value of multi-stakeholder action is essential to sustaining the work, attracting new funding, and maintaining progress over time.

[1]  Kania, J. and Kramer, M. (2011). Collective Impact. Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2011. Accessed at http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/collective_impact