A Movement for Quality Care

Oct 7, 2011, 2:22 PM, Posted by NewPublicHealth

Relative to other countries, U.S. health care is high in cost and low in quality. We spend more per person on health care than any other country, but there is still a massive divide between the high quality of care the U.S. health care system can deliver and the uneven quality it actually provides. Recently, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and TV’s Dr. Mehmet Oz partnered on Care About Your Care, a month-long effort to spark conversation on improving the quality of health care in this country.

On Thursday, September 15, national health care representatives including Carolyn Clancy, M.D., Director of the HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Farzad Mostashari, M.D., S.c.M., the HHS National Coordinator for Health Information Technology gathered in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the progress of this new quality movement. Communities nationwide joined by webcast to share some local successes in quality care:

  • In Cincinnati, the Chamber of Commerce convened doctors, patients, nurses, businesses, health plans, public health, health systems to work towards better health, better care and lower costs, emphasizing the important role of employers in this process.
  • In Bangor, Maine, a care management team made up of registered nurses, health coaches and social workers used health information technology to improve communication with hospitals and take measures to reduce readmission rates, as part of the Bangor Beacon Community.
  • In Seattle, Washington, a physician from the University of Washington Medicine Neighborhood Clinics talked about how useful it is for providers to see data from their electronic medical records to be able to see how they’re doing. “You cannot improve what you can’t measure.” His clinic also put systems and care teams in place to improve the quality of care in diabetes management, cancer screening and more.
  • One woman shared her story of a family struggle with diabetes, and her decision to participate in the Oakland County OakFit employee wellness program with a free, 8-week course on her lunch hour, leading her to lose weight and improve her health.

Hear more from Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of RWJF and TV’s Dr. Oz about the Care About Your Care initiative and community efforts to ensure consistent, quality care across the country.

Care About Your Care Video

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.