Priorities in Action include programs with the most potential and transformative quality improvement in the United States of America that align to the six National Quality Strategies priorities. The NQS priorities include making patient care safer, enabling person and family care, promoting prevention and treatment of leading death causes, working with communities to implement best practices and ensure healthy living, making quality care affordable for all, and promoting effective communication and coordination care (National Quality Strategy, 2012). The programs are updated monthly and represent Federal, State, private sector and local efforts.
Most Important Priority to Health Care Consumers
The most important priority to health consumers is the California Quality Collaborative (CQC) organization. This is a health care improvement organization aiming at improving health care delivery for seven million Californians. The organization comprises of 300 buyers, providers, health plan and patient advocacy organizations and provides various health care improvement programs. The programs range from quality improvement training for doctors and hospitals to recent partnerships aimed at provision of best practices in chronic care and readmissions.
The partnership CQC improves health care services by providing two separate collaborations that help health care consumers save money by using different strategies that prevent patient readmissions. The first program is known as Avoid Readmissions through Collaboration (ARC) and involves hospitals implementing processes known to reduce readmissions. The processes include practices such as providing patients with self-management skills after discharge and assigning a discharge advocate to facilitate discharge with the patient and the care team. The ARC program implemented in 18 hospitals prevented 6,300 readmissions that was equivalent to 8% reduction in readmissions rate and led to over $60 million dollars in savings (National Quality Strategy, 2012).
The Take Accountability through Ambulatory Care Transitions (TAACT) program enables various health care providers to come up with post-discharge group care strategies to address outpatient medical and social issues that lead to readmissions. These issues include problems such as poor care coordination and defiant patient behavior. The TAACT program involves coming up with the best practices to manage the movement from inpatient to ambulatory systems through care teams and learning.
Most Important Priority to Health Care Providers
The most useful priority to health care providers is the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Resource Center. The PCMH model has the potential to change how health care is organized, delivered and funded in the United States. The AHRQ uses the PCMH model as technique that promotes the delivery of high quality patient-focused care, safely and effectively through the improvement of communication and coordination.
AHRQ has a PCMH resource center that has guides such as the “Developing and Running a Primary Care Practice Facilitation Program: A How-to Guide” that gives information and methods on primary care quality improvement (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2016). The guide contains strategies known as practice facilitation that provides potential ways that can be used to improve systematic practices across communities. It addresses important issues like administration, employee management, financing, evaluation and steps that affect the running of health care facilities. AHRQ also provides Federal PSMH Collaborative where different partners in the Federal Executive Branch can share the lessons learned in using PSMH programs. This use of the PCMH program will increase the efficiency of health care providers with the PCMH Collaborative providing means to learn from each others’ experience and improve their own.
The National Quality Standards has various recent programs that can are helpful in improving the health care quality to both health care consumers and providers. The programs if implemented successfully can have several advantages and help patients and health care facilities save a lot of money.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2016, January 7). FLU.GOV. Retrieved February 5, 2016, from U.S Department of Healthcare and Human Services, http://www.ahrq.gov/
National Quality Strategy. (2012, June 8). NQS database. Retrieved February 5, 2016, from http://www.ahrq.gov/workingforquality/priorities.htm