NQF Issues Population Health Community Action Guide for Public Comment 

APR 02, 2014

CONTACT: Erin Reese

NQF Issues Population Health Community Action Guide for Public Comment

Washington, DC - The National Quality Forum (NQF) is seeking public comment on its draft Community Action Guide, a new resource designed to help communities initiate or improve population health programs. The draft Guide was developed by an NQF-convened, multi-stakeholder committee and is the first offering of a three-year project funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Existing, evidence based US programs and policies that improve wellness and healthy behaviors across populations are estimated to result in health care savings of $19 billion over 10 years, according to The Commonwealth Fund. This multi-year project aims to increase and enhance population health programs in communities across the nation.

"To support and foster growth in community-based population health programs, we saw a need for a structured, step-by-step guide to help communities succeed in meeting their healthcare goals," said Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN, Public Health Accreditation Board, co-chair of the Population Health Framework committee. "The draft Community Action Guide offers plain language guidance to help communities work with their local public health and clinical care systems to improve health."

The draft Guide is based on research and information from expert guidance about what works to improve population health and is structured around 10 key elements, ranging from various levels of readiness to begin a population health program such as self-assessment, prioritizing health improvement activities, and developing a plan for program sustainability. Each element provides an explanation of key steps, why each is important, and recommendations on how each can be accomplished. The draft Guide also includes examples, resources and shared definitions to ensure better coordination and alignment across multiple systems.

"Our goal is for this guide to be useful to all communities committed to improving health, which is why it is essential to initiate a national dialogue that surfaces important improvements to it," said committee member Catherine Baase, MD, global director Health Services, The Dow Chemical Company, and chairperson of MiHIA (Michigan Health Information Alliance, Inc.). "The feedback we receive through this comment period will play an integral role in the development of what we believe will be an invaluable community resource."

NQF has previously endorsed population-level measures addressing clinical preventive services and immunizations as well as healthy behaviors and broader population-level measures, including those that are able to assess social, economic, and environmental determinants of health and outcomes.

The Community Action Guide is available for public comment through April 16, 2014. Learn more about NQF's efforts in population health.

NQF operates under a three-part mission to improve the quality of American healthcare by:

  • building consensus on national priorities and goals for performance improvement and working in partnership to achieve them;
  • endorsing national consensus standards for measuring and publicly reporting on performance; and
  • promoting the attainment of national goals through education and outreach programs.

Learn more at www.qualityforum.org