The Aligning Forces For Quality Experience

Lessons On Getting Consumers Involved In Health Care Improvements

Aligning Forces for Quality is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s signature effort to improve the overall quality of health care in targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care, and provide models for national reform. Activities in each of the 16 Aligning Forces for Quality alliance communities are guided by a multistakeholder alliance of consumers, providers, and payers. To achieve goals established at the national and local levels, the alliances integrate local consumers into governance and decision-making, program design and implementation, and information dissemination efforts.

This article describes how the Aligning Forces for Quality investments have evolved since the initiative’s launch in 2006 and offers some early lessons learned. Individual alliances have engaged consumers in numerous capacities, from serving on dedicated consumer advisory boards to representing the consumer’s perspective in the design of public reports of providers’ quality. The alliances’ ongoing and mindful inclusion of consumers provides insights into eliciting and applying their perspectives in the pursuit of improved health care quality, value, and transparency.

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