Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q)
Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) was a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) designed to help communities across the country lift the quality of health care within their geographic region. The $25-million program was a major part of RWJF's continuing effort to close the gap between the quality of health care that Americans now receive and what the health care system is capable of delivering. The foundational premise of AF4Q is that no single person, group or profession can improve the quality of care without the support of others. Maine was one of sixteen (16) communities selected from across the country to participate in this initiative.
AF4Q in Maine was led by Maine Quality Counts (QC) in close partnership with the Maine Health Management Coalition and the Dirigo Health Agency’s Maine Quality Forum. These partners work with numerous stakeholder groups including consumers, healthcare providers, purchasers, insurers, and public health organizations to improve healthcare by aligning efforts within and across several areas, or “forces” to improve health care quality – i.e. promoting performance measurement and public reporting of quality data; building a sustainable system of quality improvement support for providers; engaging consumers to become more actively involved in their health care and to reform the health care delivery system; reducing disparities in healthcare, and helping to reform the way health care is paid.
As the AF4Q program wraps up, we're celebrating improvements made and accomplishments achieved, along with our partners, to better health and health care for everyone in Maine.
Through the work supported by AF4Q, we have:
- Driven efforts to measure and report on provider quality
Today, the performance of more than 10,000 physicians, 2,500 medical practices, and hundreds of hospitals is being reported publicly in Aligning Forces regions. You can find Maine's provider quality data here: http://www.getbettermaine.org/
- Improved clinical care
Whether it’s the right care for people with diabetes … or better cholesterol control … or another measure considered, performance improved in Aligning Forces regions, usually faster than the national rate.
- Engaged health care consumers
37 million Americans who live in Aligning Forces communities can now access data on the care provided locally, and increasingly have a voice in how it can be improved.
- Advanced efforts to increase equity in local care
Through Aligning Forces, hundreds of hospitals standardized the collection of patient data, which makes discovering and addressing disparities easier.
- Kick-started health system transformation
Whether it’s measured by patient-centered medical homes, Accountable Care Organizations, new payment models, or transparency of health care costs, Aligning Forces communities are well ahead of the rest of the nation.