National Quality Strategy: Using Levers to Achieve Improved Health and Health Care

About the National Quality Strategy
Using Levers to Align to the National Quality Strategy
National Quality Strategy Alignment
National Quality Strategy Levers
What You Can Do


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.


About the National Quality Strategy

The National Quality Strategy is the first-ever national effort backed by legislation to align public- and private-sector stakeholders to achieve better health and health care for all Americans. The Strategy serves as a guiding force in the multitude of quality improvement efforts across the Nation, fostering alignment across national, Federal, State, and private-sector stakeholders to improve health and health care quality for all Americans.

Using Levers to Align to the National Quality Strategy

Stakeholders can align to the National Quality Strategy by adopting one or more of the three aims and/or six priorities. Stakeholders can now align to the Strategy in a new way, using one or more of the nine "levers" described below. Each lever represents a core business function, resource, and/or action 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 National Quality Strategy alignment.

National Quality Strategy Alignment

Each lever description below includes one example for adoption, but every lever can be applied to a variety of organizations in a number of settings.

payment
Payment
public reporting
Public
Reporting
learning and technical assistance
Learning and
Technical
Assistance
certification, accreditation, and regulation
Certification,
Accreditation,
and Regulation
consumer incentives and benefit designs
Consumer
Incentives
and Benefit
Designs
measurement and feedback
Measurement
and Feedback
health information technology
Health
Information
Technology
workforce development
Workforce
Development
innovation and diffusion
Innovation
and Diffusion

National Quality Strategy Levers

Lever Icon Design Example
Payment payment Reward and incentivize providers to deliver high-quality, patient-centered care. Join a regional coalition of purchasers that are pursuing value-based purchasing.
Public Reporting public reporting Compare treatment results, costs, and patient experience for consumers. A regional collaborative may ask member hospitals and medical practices to align public reports to the National Quality Strategy aims or priorities.
Learning and Technical Assistance learning and technical assistance Foster learning environments that offer training, resources, tools, and guidance to help organizations achieve quality improvement goals. A Quality Improvement Organization may disseminate evidence-based best practices in quality improvement with physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies.
Certification, Accreditation, and Regulation certification, accreditation, and regulation Adopt or adhere to approaches to meet safety and quality standards. The National Quality Strategy aims and priorities may be incorporated into continuing education requirements or certification maintenance.
Consumer Incentives and Benefit Designs consumer incentives and benefit designs Help consumers adopt healthy behaviors and make informed decisions. Employers may implement workforce wellness programs that promote prevention and provide incentives for employees to improve their health.
Measurement and Feedback measurement and feedback Provide performance feedback to plans and providers to improve care. A long-term care provider may implement a strategy that includes the use of Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement data to populate measurement dashboards for purposes of identifying and addressing areas requiring quality improvement.
Health Information Technology health information technology Improve communication, transparency, and efficiency for better coordinated health and health care. A hospital or medical practice may adopt an electronic health record system to improve communication and care coordination.
Workforce Development workforce development Investing in people to prepare the next generation of health care professionals and support lifelong learning for providers. A medical leadership institution may incorporate quality improvement principles in their training.
Innovation and Diffusion innovation and diffusion Foster innovation in health care quality improvement, and facilitate rapid adoption within and across organizations and communities. Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation tests various payment and service delivery models and shares successful models across the Nation.

What You Can Do

Learn more by visiting the Working for Quality site, and tell us about your efforts by submitting comments to NQStrategy@ahrq.hhs.gov.

AHRQ Publication No. 14-M016-EF
Current as of May 2014

Page last reviewed November 2016
Page originally created November 2016
Internet Citation: National Quality Strategy: Using Levers to Achieve Improved Health and Health Care. Content last reviewed November 2016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/workingforquality/about/nqs-fact-sheets/nqs-fact-sheet-using-levers.html