A Final Note
By answering the questions in this Workbook, you have used the Plan-Do-Assess approach to determine your State's needs and available resources, identify measures to be used, set initial goals, and begin considering an evaluation strategy for quality improvement; now you are ready to take action. The goal of improving asthma care quality in your State may at first seem overwhelming. Yet, with small, smart steps, you can make that happen.
Assemble your staff or your network of State leaders and discuss the idea. Most likely you will want them to read the Resource Guide, do the exercises in this Workbook, and prepare some ideas for a preliminary plan even before you meet. Identifying and recruiting public and private partners for health care quality improvement—other State agencies, purchasers, provider groups, consumers, and experts who fill in the gaps in your knowledge—is critical. Find out who the change agents for health care quality are in your State.
Any work plan must be shared with key stakeholders who may modify it in slight or drastic ways. A preliminary plan sets the stage for discussion and interaction with health care providers and policymakers. Flexibility within these interactions will be important to making progress and implementing improvement statewide.
Remember, without committed leadership and involvement of professionals at the forefront of health care, there can be no quality enhancement. As we have noted throughout this Workbook as well as in the Resource Guide, the full stakeholder group should be involved in designing the goals, approach, details of implementation, evaluation plan, and strategy for spreading change. Only with an effective team will the health care system in your State be able to change and provide better care for residents.
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Current as of April 2006
AHRQ Publication No. 06-0012-2
Asthma Care Quality Improvement: A Workbook for State Action. April 2006, AHRQ Publication No. 06-0012-2. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/qual/asthmacare/asthmawkbk.htm