Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A National Quality Strategy---FINALLY

For persons like me, the recent debut of the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care, and the subsequent release of the Partnership for Patients, is an amazing confluence of events with roots deep in the quality and safety movement. The National Strategy, released in late March 2011 calls for sweeping changes in the current system that would promote three core goals--Better Care, Healthy Communities and Affordable Care. It would implement upwards of 65 new quality measures and hold providers accountable for these measures with a host of financial incentives and disincentives.

The National Strategy has deep roots in the IOM Reports "To Err is Human" and "Crossing the Quality Chasm". With Dr Berwick at the helm of CMS, himself a co author of both aforementioned IOM reports, it is no wonder that the national strategy reflects many of Berwicks long held ( and laudable) views. To me, it is as if the Triple Aim, of IHI fame, is now, to some extent, national policy. I am excited about seeing the Triple Aim literally coming to life as the law of the land!!!

The Partnership for Patients, which debuted on April 12th, is a follow up political rallying cry to energize the movement even further. It calls for a pledge of support for the goals in the Strategy. It also serves as the vehicle for a new round of financial support for this work, to the tune of about $1billion. Already, major national provider groups are gearing up to attempt to garner some of this support.

Naysayers might balk at all of this but not me. I see a bright future ahead when national policies are finally focusing on some of the work that our school, and many other organizations, have been focused on for years. I think we will see many more providers express interest in the quality and safety movement and as a result, lives will be saved and costs will be moderated. I am excited to be leading our School of Population at such a watershed time in our history. DAVID NASH

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