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Quality Initiative Generates Widespread Improvements for Hospitals


Aligning Forces for Quality, an 18-month virtual quality collaborative launched in 16 targeted communities, generated measurable improvements for 90% of the 100 participating hospitals. The project, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (, is focused on reducing avoidable hospital readmissions; improving ED timeliness, efficiency, and patient flow; and eliminating patient-language barriers via standardized collection of data on race, ethnicity, and language preferences.

The collaborative showed 60% of participating hospitals improved 30-day readmission rates for heart failure patients, and 75% improved adherence to heart failure care standards.

“Hospitals are willing to really take stock of what they are doing well and where they could improve,” Susan Mende, BSN, MPH, of the foundation’s senior program office noted in a prepared statement.

Hospitalist William C. Cook, DO, chief of hospital medicine for the Ohio Permanente Medical Group, served as co-chair of the steering committee for transitional care for Better Care Greater Cleveland, one of the 16 community coalitions, and led two other work groups targeting care transitions. “I also had the opportunity to meet and work with Eric Coleman, MD,” of the University of Colorado Denver and creator of the widely implemented Care Transitions Program that coaches patients discharged from the hospital.

The foundation’s program promoted a vision for addressing readmissions across Dr. Cook’s region. “From the hospitalist perspective, our role is to try to make transitions as safe and predictable as possible,” Dr. Cook says.

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