Effectiveness of Broad Health Improvement Goals Illustrated in Case Studies from the National Priorities Partnership 

JAN 24, 2012

CONTACT: Erin Reese, NQF

Effectiveness of Broad Health Improvement Goals Illustrated in Case Studies from the National Priorities Partnership

Washington, DC – The National Priorities Partnership (NPP)— a multi-stakeholder group of health care leaders convened by the National Quality Forum (NQF)—has released five case studies exploring “on-the-ground” application and alignment with national priorities for improving health care. The case studies are part of an independent evaluation of the NPP’s impact to date building consensus and catalyzing action around national priorities and goals in health care. The group provides guidance to government and the private sector on quality and performance improvement.

The case studies explore ways various priority areas which are supportive of the National Quality Strategy are reflected in concrete organizational processes, plans or policies, or otherwise affected each organization’s work. The five participating organizations and their areas of focus include:

  • HealthPartners, an integrated healthcare system located in Bloomington, Minnesota.The case study focuses on how the organization leveraged NPP championing of population health and reducing racial and ethnic disparities.
  • Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute, a healthcare provider and not-for-profit health plan serving 9 million people in nine states and the District of Columbia.The case study focuseson care coordination and transitions – for example when patients move from hospital to home or into palliative care.
  • The North Carolina Quality Center for Hospital Quality and PatientSafety, an organization created to help increase safety and quality in North Carolina.The case study focuses on the Center’s adoption of national priorities to serve as a framework and to galvanize improvements in patient safety at hospitals state-wide. 
  • The Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA), a multi-stakeholder membership organization that promotes appropriate medication use and develops strategies for measuring and reporting performance information related to medications. The case study focuses on PQA’s partnership with NPP to drive population health improvement through better medication management. 
  • The Spine Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, one of the flagship institutions of the renowned Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system, located in Lebanon, New Hampshire.The case study focuses on how the center leveraged NPP’s heightened attention to reduce the overuse of care and improve patient and family engagement in care.

During in-person visits with evaluators, leaders at each site said they looked to the NPP’s work and recommendations as guideposts to affirm future goal-setting; several sites embedded these goals in their organization’s strategic plans. Organization leaders also agreed that the national priorities supported by the NPP were well-fitted to current directions being taken in their organizations. NPP’s broad outreach capabilities, including through its convener, the National Quality Forum, was also seen as a strength.

“These case studies illuminate how the critical work of the NPP is being carried out across different settings,” said NPP co-chair Helen Darling, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health. “Despite their different roles within healthcare, each found a strategic way to use the NPP framework as part of their healthcare improvement efforts.”
NPP’s recommendations and priorities map closely to those put forth in the federal government’s National Quality Strategy (NQS). Creation of the NQS was a requirement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.

“We look forward to utilizing this information to shape our agenda for the future, as we continue to provide guidance on national priorities and goals for performance improvement and work in partnership to achieve positive change in health and healthcare,” said NPP Co-Chair Bernie Rosof, MD, a representative of the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, convened by the American Medical Association.

“The overarching goal of the NPP is to support alignment with the National Quality Strategy and its goals for quality and safety improvement,” said Janet Corrigan, PhD, MBA, president and CEO of NQF.“The user data these case studies provide will allow NPP to further strengthen their framework and provide additional opportunities for organizations to integrate into their own decision-making process.”

The full case studies are now available online.

About NPP
The National Priorities Partnership, convened by the National Quality Forum, is a multi-stakeholder group including organizations representing the interests of consumers, purchasers, healthcare providers and professionals, state-based associations, community collaborative and regional alliances, government agencies, health plans, accreditation and certification bodies, and supplier and industry groups.