A Federal Government Web site managed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
The National Quality Strategy is a national effort to align public- and private-sector stakeholders to achieve better health and health care for all Americans.
The National Quality Strategy (NQS) was first published in March 2011 as the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care, and is led by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the NQS was developed through a transparent and collaborative process with input from a range of stakeholders. More than 300 groups, organizations, and individuals, representing all sectors of the health care industry and the general public, provided comments. Based on this input, the NQS established a set of three overarching aims that builds on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Triple Aim®, supported by six priorities that address the most common health concerns that Americans face. Stakeholders can use the nine levers to align their core business or organizational functions with the NQS to drive improvement on the aims and priorities.
Improving health and health care quality can occur only if all sectors—individuals, family members, payers, providers, employers, and communities—make it their mission. Members of the health care community can align to the NQS by doing the following:
The NQS pursues three broad aims. These aims will be used to guide and assess local, State, and national efforts to improve health and the quality of health care.
To advance these aims, the NQS focuses on six priorities:
The nine NQS levers below represent core business functions, resources, and/or actions that stakeholders can use to align to the Strategy. In many cases, stakeholders may already be using these levers but haven't connected these activities to NQS alignment.
The NQS also addresses the proliferation of clinical quality measures currently used in national programs through the work of the HHS Measurement Policy Council (MPC). The MPC began convening in early 2012 to begin the work of aligning measures across HHS with the goal of establishing core sets of measures that are meaningful to different groups of stakeholders. Composed of senior-level representatives from across HHS, the MPC also focuses on new measure development, implementation, and policy so measures that have yet to be created will be aligned as well. For a list of topics and core measure sets, visit the Working for Quality site at www.ahrq.gov/workingforquality.
The NQS supports the sharing of best practices in health and health care quality improvement at the national, State, and local level, and will provide opportunities for the entire Nation to benefit from such collaboration. Learn more by visiting www.ahrq.gov/workingforquality and downloading the Stakeholder Toolkit, or tell us about your efforts by submitting comments to NQStrategy@ahrq.hhs.gov.
AHRQ Publication No. 14-M006-EF
(Replaces OM 13-0070-EF)
Revised September 2014