The National Health Plan Collaborative: Overview of Its Origins, Accomplishments, and Lessons Learned
V. Disseminating Phase II Work Through the NHPC Toolkit
NHPC participants, as well as AHRQ and RWJF staff, perceived the dissemination of the group's Phase II work as an important goal. The primary dissemination vehicle was the NHPC toolkit, a collection of resources to help health plans address racial and ethnic health disparities. The toolkit was unveiled on September 8, 2008, at AHRQ's annual conference. Developed by GMMB in collaboration with all NHPC participants, the toolkit includes the following key elements:
- Background information on racial and ethnic disparities, importance of race/ethnicity data collection and provision of language services, national and State policy endeavors in these areas, and the efforts of the NHPC.
- Descriptions of race/ethnicity health data collection strategies adopted by NHPC firms.
- Summaries of firms' language access improvement activities.
- Information on making the business case for quality improvement and disparities elimination.
- Case studies of several NHPC firms' efforts to address racial and ethnic disparities.
Currently, the toolkit is maintained on the RWJF Web site.xiv Links to the toolkit are available on the NHPC and AHIP Web sites.
Perspectives on the Toolkit
NHPC participants expressed predominantly positive reactions to the toolkit. Several firms' representatives felt that it was one of the most important accomplishments of Phase II. Multiple representatives noted that the toolkit is not only a marker of NHPC's success, but also a valuable source of practical information for non-NHPC health plans attempting to address racial and ethnic disparities. One firm's representative suggested that "it is one of the best health care toolkits [I have] ever seen." Another member commented that the toolkit has been met with interest and enthusiasm when shared with health plans outside of the Collaborative.
The NHPC has disseminated the toolkit in a variety of ways. Links appear on the NHPC and AHIP Web sites. AHIP announced the toolkit's launch in its Hi-Wire newsletter. In addition, both RWJF and CHCS introduced it to their constituencies via their listservs. Its launch at the AHRQ annual conference was accompanied by distribution of a one-page description of its contents, written by GMMB. In addition to these methods of dissemination, NHPC firms have found other ways to share the toolkit with people outside their own organizations. For example, one member presented it to a health plan association conference, and another shared it with a non-NHPC health plan that eventually created a link to the toolkit from its own Web site.
Dissemination activities have resulted in people accessing the online toolkit. According to recent RWJF Web statistics, nearly 700 people have been referred to the toolkit from other Web sites since its release.xv Most referrals have originated from the CHCS Web site (27 percent), followed by a weekly e-newsletter called Case In Point Weekly (5 percent), and the Families USA Web site (3 percent). About 3.4 percent of referrals came from Google searches, suggesting that people have heard of the toolkit and have searched for it specifically. Another 1.6 percent of referrals came from the AHIP Web site.xvi
Use of the Toolkit
Recent observations from NHPC members and RWJF Web analytics suggest that the toolkit is being used and has been well received internally by NHPC firms as well as by non-NHPC health plans. Since its September 2008 release, the toolkit has remained a popular product on the RWJF site, logging about 4,500 unique views in the first 4 months after its' unveiling. Web analytics of the RWJF site also show that it has been a popular product to print and e-mail. In addition, users spend more time on average (2.4 minutes) on the toolkit pages relative to other RWJF products that fall under its Quality/Equality program area.
Several NHPC members reported having used the toolkit. One firm's representative remarked that they have been "pulling examples from the toolkit" to guide and develop internal data collection mechanisms and that the detail provided in it often has been sufficient to direct progress. In this case, at least two data collection activities the firm is pursing are modeled on toolkit examples. Other NHPC participants noted that they have presented the toolkit to senior management and leadership or have used it as a background resource when responding to employer requests for proposals. Organizations outside the NHPC have used the toolkit as well.xvii One firm whose work is featured in it has received multiple calls from non-NHPC health plans for technical assistance and additional information on data collection. Another firm indicated that the toolkit had been examined by health plans in California as a comparison with their efforts on data collection, which has been mandated by SB 853.
xiv The toolkit is available at the following link: www.rwjf.org/qualityequality/product.jsp?id=33960.
xv Personal communication with GMMB staff in March 2009.
xvi The referring sites described here include those organization Web sites with the largest number of referrals to the toolkit. The remaining two-thirds of referrals were from Web sites that each had a small number of referrals.
xvii Although we were able to obtain a general sense of the toolkit's use, gathering specific information on the number and type of external users was beyond the scope of this study.