Wisconsin Collaborative for Quality Healthcare

Marking a Milestone, Embracing New Opportunities

The start of summer is an exciting time as we mark important milestones and create new plans. A key milestone for WCHQ is the completion of Aligning Forces for Quality, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, and provide models for national reform.

Wisconsin was one of only sixteen communities selected to participate in Aligning Forces for Quality and joined the initiative in 2007. The technical assistance, guidance and financial support allowed the communities to experiment with many important initiatives. WCHQ achieved several priorities including the launch of patient experience of care reporting via Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG-CAHPS) surveys, the release of its medical group ratings in partnership with Consumer Reports magazine, and measurable improvements in both colorectal cancer screening rates and diabetes care.

A unique component of Aligning Forces for Quality is an extensive and robust evaluation of its impact. The evaluation has included tracking program activities, interviewing stakeholders, and administering surveys to identify lessons learned about multi-stakeholder approaches to improving health care.

The evaluation team recently released a seminal summary of its current findings with additional information on what is yet to come in the final phases of its evaluation. The “Early and Mid-Course Findings from the Evaluation of a National Health Improvement Program” report is available online at http://www.hhdev.psu.edu/media/CHCPR/alignforce/files/AF4Qeval_03.pdf.

Across all of the communities, Aligning Forces for Quality has shown progress can be made when local stakeholders work together. Teams of diverse stakeholders representing people who get care, give care, and pay for care have made health systems work better for everyone while achieving significant and measureable improvements.

As WCHQ embraces new opportunities to accelerate improvements, we look forward to continuing to serve as a national leader and collaborating with others to promote high value performance and deliver quality care.