Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced that 222 different teams from 139 hospitals in select communities across the country have been selected to participate in the Aligning Forces for Quality Hospital Quality Network.
Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) is RWJF’s signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in 17 targeted regions, as well as reduce racial and ethnic disparities and provide models for reform.
The AF4Q Hospital Quality Network includes three separate quality improvement initiatives aimed at helping hospitals tackle key issues. Hospital teams are participating in one of these three focus areas:
- Reducing Readmissions will help hospitals improve care for heart failure patients—ultimately reducing costly and avoidable readmissions.
- Increasing Throughput will test real-world solutions to improve the pace and efficiency of patients moving through the emergency department, either to be treated and released, or admitted and provided with a bed in an appropriate unit of the hospital.
- Improving Language Services will help hospitals improve care for patients who speak or understand limited English. Hospitals will develop strategies to ensure that trained medical interpreters are present at patient intake and discharge—two points where effective provider-patient communications are critical to a high-quality outcome.
Throughout the 18-month AF4Q Hospital Quality Network, hospital teams will explore improvement strategies while also collecting and submitting data based on patient race, ethnicity and/or language. Tracking care in this way helps hospitals identify and address any racial or ethnic disparities in care. Lessons learned will ultimately be shared with hospitals across the country to improve the quality and equity of care delivered in all communities.