Slide 5

National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care

Text version of slide presentation from a National Advisory Council meeting.

The framework consists of three aims, in addition to being guided by a set of core principles, that frame the underlying priorities and goals


Text Description is below the image.


"These aims are not separate, but are interrelated and mutually reinforcing... Because of these connections, national priorities should contribute to the achievement of all three aims."

Better Care: Improve the overall quality, by making health care more patient-centered, reliable, accessible, and safe.

Affordable Care: Reduce the cost of quality health care for individuals, families, employers, and government.

Healthy People/Healthy Communities: Improve the health of the U.S. population by supporting proven interventions to address behavioral, social, and environmental determinants of health in addition to delivering higher-quality care.


Making care safer by reducing harm caused in the delivery of care.

Making quality care more affordable for individuals, families, employers, and governments by developing and spreading new health care delivery models.

Promoting effective communication and coordination of care.

Working with communities to promote wide use of best practices to enable healthy living.

Promoting the most effective prevention and treatment practices for the leading causes of mortality, starting with cardiovascular disease.

Ensuring that each person and family are engaged as partners in their care.


This National Quality Strategy—and all efforts to improve health and health care delivery—must be guided by a core set of principles. We identify 10 principles that can be used when designing specific initiatives to achieve the National Quality Strategy's three aims.

  • Attention will be paid to aligning the efforts of the public and private sectors.
  • Primary care will become a bigger focus, with special attention towards the challenges faced by vulnerable populations, including children, older adults, and those with multiple health conditions.
  • Providing patients, providers, and payers with the clear information they need to make choices that are right for them, will be encouraged.
  • Coordination among primary care, behavioral health, other specialty clinicians and health systems will be enhanced to ensure that these systems treat the "whole person".
  • Quality improvement will be driven by supporting innovation, evaluating efforts around the country, rapid-cycle learning, and disseminating evidence about what works.
  • Person-centeredness and family engagement, including understanding and valuing patient preferences, will guide all strategies, goals, and health care improvement efforts.
  • Eliminating disparities in care—including but not limited to those based on race, color national origin, gender, age, disability, language, health literacy, sexual orientation and gender identity, source of payment, socioeconomic status, and geography—will be an integral part of all strategies, goals, and health care improvement efforts.
  • Consistent national standards will be promoted, while maintaining support for local, community, and State-level activities that are responsive to local circumstances.
  • Integration of care delivery with community and public health planning will be promoted.
  • Specific health considerations will be addressed for patients of all ages, backgrounds, health needs, care locations, and sources of coverage.



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Page last reviewed October 2014
Page originally created September 2012
Internet Citation: Slide 5. Content last reviewed October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.