The third phase of the Multi-State Learning Collaborative (MLC) is a three-year Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative designed to build quality improvement capacity within state and local health departments. This commentary provides a brief overview of the MLC, a methodological description of its evaluation and preliminary findings.
Major evaluation data sources include quarterly reports, surveys, case studies and key informant interviews. Preliminary survey data and quarterly reports from year one provide some early evidence that states are progressing toward MLC goals. Approximately 27 percent of local health departments in the 16 participant states report that they have begun to prepare for national accreditation and approximately 39 percent report implementation of at least one quality improvement project within the past 12 months. Ongoing data collection efforts are under way to more fully address the evaluation questions.