NQF Seeks Field Testing Groups for Population Health Guide 

SEP 16, 2014

CONTACT: Erin Reese, NQF

NQF Seeks Field Testing Groups for Population Health Guide
New Action Guide 1.0 Ready for Input

Washington, DC
- Programs and policies that promote health and disease prevention could potentially yield hundreds of billions of dollars in savings for the US health system, according to a 2007 report by the Commonwealth Fund.” To help spur these types of improvements, the National Quality Forum (NQF) is seeking up to 10 collaborative groups from across the country to field test the NQF Action Guide 1.0 - a handbook designed to assist groups working together to improve health across a population, at the local, regional, state, or national level. The Guide, which was developed by an NQF-convened, multi-stakeholder committee, and the field testing are part of a three-year project funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services to stimulate effective collaboration to improve the nation’s health.

A 2013 report from the American Public Health Association noted that the greatest health challenges—chronic illness, health inequities, climate change, and health care costs—are highly complex and often linked. Promoting healthy communities requires addressing the social and environmental determinants of health, such as transportation, education, access to healthy food, economic opportunities, and more.

Based on research and information from experts about what works to improve population health, the Guide takes these considerations into account. It is structured around 10 key elements, ranging from a community’s readiness to begin a population health program, to prioritizing health improvement activities, and developing a plan for program sustainability.

To test the Guide, NQF is seeking input from a diverse set of groups, each with different levels of experience, varied geographic and demographic focus, and demonstrated involvement in or plans to establish population health-focused programs. The groups selected for the 18-month field test will participate in a variety of activities, such as applying the content of the Guide to new or existing population health improvement projects, determining what works and what needs enhancement, and offering examples and ideas for revised or new content, based on their own experiences. The selected groups will have the opportunity to interact with one another and with members of the committee through in-person meetings and monthly conference calls, providing a bi-directional learning opportunity for everyone involved.

“The on-the-ground insight we receive from the selected field testing groups over the 18 month period will be invaluable to ensuring that the refined Guide is both leading-edge and practical about the opportunities, challenges, and barriers to effectively improving population health,” said Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, president and CEO of America's Essential Hospitals and co-chair of the Population Health Framework project.

The submission process for anyone wishing to be considered as a field testing group will be open September 16 -October 7, 2014. The submission form and additional information regarding selection criteria and expectations (PDF) for field testing groups is available online.

“This field test gives participants a unique opportunity to jump start or reinvigorate their population health efforts as well as contribute their experiences to this national initiative to impact the way population health is approached in the future, ” said committee member J. Lloyd Michener, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University Medical Center.

The NQF Action Guide, Version 1.0 and additional information about NQF’s Population Health Framework project are available online. 



The National Quality Forum leads national collaboration to improve health and healthcare quality through measurement. Learn more at www.qualityforum.org.