AHRQ Press Release

NCHC Writer
Default Image


The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a grant to the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) to disseminate widely information on what constitutes “best practices” in four areas of medical care.

Under the grant, that over a two-year period could total almost $600,000, the two organizations initially will conduct meetings and seminars on what can be done to improve the quality of care by reducing medical errors and in providing appropriate care at the end of life. In addition, the project will identify best practices in cardiac care and chronic disease management, and those practices will be added to the areas covered in the meetings held in the second year.

The effort being supported by AHRQ is unique in that it will focus on helping to change the way health care services are delivered by educating those who pay for and receive care, such as employers, unions, and consumers, as well as the providers of care. The meetings will not only identify what are known to be more efficient and efficacious treatments in the four subject areas but also will provide the various audiences with information on how they can aid in the introduction or enhancement of those treatments within their health care communities.

“We believe that positive changes in our health care system can be accelerated through the broad involvement of all parties in that system,” said Henry E. Simmons, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., president of NCHC. “That’s why we launched the ‘Accelerating Change Today (A.C.T.) Initiative – For America’s Health’ with IHI two years ago. We have produced two reports profiling institutions and organizations that have made significant improvements in reducing medical errors and in end-of-life care. With the assistance from AHRQ, we can continue and expand our efforts in that initiative,” he added.

“This grant will allow us to look at a number of avenues for implementing change and to evaluate those avenues in determining how best to bring about improvements in the quality of care,” said Donald M. Berwick, M.D., M.P.P., IHI’s co-founder and president. “We know how to do many of the things necessary to improve care, but the challenge is to see that those things actually are done throughout the health care system,” he pointed out.

The National Coalition is the nation’s largest, most broadly representative alliance working to improve America’s health care system. Its members include large and small businesses, unions, consumer, provider and religious groups. Its Honorary Co-Chairs are former Presidents George Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald R. Ford. Former Governor Robert D. Ray (R-IA) and Former Congressman Paul G. Rogers (D-FL) serve as Co-Chairs of the Coalition.

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is an integrative force for change in the health care industry. A non-profit organization, IHI improves health care by harvesting innovative ideas, turning knowledge into practice, and connecting people and organizations to accomplish more together than they can separately.