The Beacon Community Program is part of a federal strategy for using health information technology as a foundation to improve the nation’s health care system. In particular, Beacon Communities seek to increase the quality and efficiency of health care, improve the health of individuals and communities, and inform similar initiatives in other parts of the country. Each Beacon Community has set quality, efficiency, and health-related goals, and each is deploying multiple technology-enabled interventions to achieve them. Yet achieving large-scale and sustainable health care improvement also requires an implementation framework that can foster innovation and continuous learning from results.
Based on the early experiences of the 17 diverse Beacon Communities, this paper describes program design features that characterize how these initiatives are organized.