Academic Health Centers Quality Initiative

The Foundation's "Pursuing Perfection: Raising the Bar for Health Care Performance" is a program designed to help hospital and physician organizations dramatically improve patient outcomes by pursuing perfection in all of their major care processes. In the course of the 2001 grant competition for this program, 226 health care organizations applied. However, many leading academic health centers (AHCs) did not apply, and those that did were not successful in receiving funding. Foundation staff and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement are concerned about the lack of AHC participation given that AHCs train the bulk of health care professionals and are viewed by the public as providing premier health care quality. In the opinion of some, however, AHCs deliver highly variable quality, and have not trained the health care workforce in quality improvement or quality leadership. The purpose of this project is to attempt to understand why AHCs performed poorly in the Pursuing Perfection competition; identify approaches that might be effective in enlisting AHCs in pursuing perfection or in helping AHCs dramatically improve their results; and make recommendations to the Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement on how to implement such new programs. Project staff would review the AHC applications to Pursuing Perfection, review the literature on the successes and failures of AHCs in improving quality, obtain advice throughout the project from an expert advisory committee, and produce a final report to the Foundation. This project will be considered successful if it produces a final report that explains why AHCs did not do well in the competition and provides practical recommendations for future strategies to enlist in AHCs in the pursuit of perfection.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $50,000.00

Awarded on: 10/31/2002

Time frame: 11/1/2002 - 5/31/2003

Grant Number: 47103


General Hospital Corporation-Massachusetts General Hospital

55 Fruit Street
Boston, 02114-2696


David Blumenthal
Project Director