National Quality Strategy (NQS)

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a national strategy that will improve: the delivery of health care services, patient health outcomes and population health.

The strategy is to concurrently pursue three aims:

  1. Better care
  2. Healthy people/healthy communities
  3. Affordable care

The strategy will focus on six priorities:

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

  • Reduce preventable hospital admissions and readmissions.

  • Reduce the incidence of adverse health-care-associated conditions.

  • Reduce harm from inappropriate or unnecessary care.

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

  • Improve patient, family and caregiver experience of care related to quality, safety and access across settings.

  • In partnership with patients, families and caregivers — and using a shared decision making process — develop culturally sensitive and understandable care plans.

  • Enable patients and their families and caregivers to navigate, coordinate and manage their care appropriately and effectively.

3. Promoting effective communication and coordination of care.

  • Improve the quality of care transitions and communications across care settings.

  • Improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illness and disability by following a current care plan that anticipates and addresses pain and symptom management, psychosocial needs and functional status.

  • Establish shared accountability and integration of communities and health-care systems to improve quality of care and reduce health disparities.

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

  • Promote cardiovascular health through community interventions that result in improvement of social, economic and environmental factors.

  • Promote cardiovascular health through interventions that result in adoption of the most healthy lifestyle behaviors across the lifespan.

  • Promote cardiovascular health through receipt of effective clinical preventive services across the lifespan in clinical and community settings.

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

  • Promote healthy living and well-being through community interventions that result in improvement of social, economic and environmental factors.

  • Promote healthy living and well-being through interventions that result in adoption of the most important healthy lifestyle behaviors across the lifespan.

  • Promote healthy living and well-being through receipt of effective clinical preventive services across the lifespan in clinical and community settings.

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

  • Ensure affordable and accessible high-quality health care for people, families, employers and governments.

  • Support and enable communities to ensure accessible, high quality care while reducing waste and fraud.

Read More on NQS

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