Wisconsin Collaborative for Quality Healthcare

2015 News

WCHQ will participate in AHRQ grant to identify strategies for disseminating evidence-based practices in health systems

April 28, 2015

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has funded the RAND Corporation, working in partnership with Pennsylvania State University, Harvard University, and five regional health care collaboratives - including the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) - to create a Center of Excellence (Center) on Comparative Health System Performance.

The Center will determine if certain health systems exhibit the ability to quickly diffuse evidence-based medicine into practice and better understand how to effectively target comparative effectiveness research dissemination efforts to physicians and delivery systems. Through this five-year project, Center will identify, characterize and classify health systems, assess the extent to which they use Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR), understand the characteristics of high performing systems, and assess the relationship between use of PCOR evidence and quality and cost of care. The work of the Center is motivated by the changing landscape of health systems and the desire to understand how changes in organizational structures and care delivery processes may translate into better outcomes for patients. A central piece of the Center's work is to create a taxonomy of health systems.

The Center's proposed approach differs from approaches typically used to examine the relationship between health attributes of health care providers and performance. Typical studies rely either on existing secondary data (e.g., claims data) or the collection of primary data (e.g., survey data), often measuring only one layer of a multi-layered, complex system of care that contributes to PCOR adoption and health system performance. By contrast, the Center's team will take a deep-dive strategy in the work of their Data Core and associated projects, to yield a richer understanding of the factors at multiple levels of a system and their interplay, including whether PCOR uptake is implemented.

The Center's projects will seek to answer the following questions:

  • What attributes differentiate types of health system (as defined by the taxonomy)?
  • How do different types of health systems compare on quality and cost performance?
  • How do different types of health systems compare on PCOR adoption?
    • What attributes of the environments in which health systems operate promote high performance and PCOR adoption (e.g., Are some markets more likely to generate high performance health care systems with greater PCOR adoption? If so, what are the characteristics of these markets?)?
  • What attributes of health systems and their providers promote rapid adoption of PCOR?
  • How do the attributes of health systems evolve over time and how does this affect performance and PCOR adoption?

WCHQ joins four other regional health care collaboratives participating in this Center: Health Bridge in Cincinnati, Integrated Health Care Association of California, Minnesota Community Measurement, and Washington State Health Alliance.

WCHQ welcomes this collaboration, because it represents an opportunity to gain knowledge about the characteristics of health systems that promote high performance and delivery of high quality care-two goals that all WCHQ members are working to advance. Additional project information will be posted to www.wchq.org in future.

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