On June 24, 2020, the National Quality Forum (NQF) released The Care We Need: Driving Better Health Outcomes for People and Communities, a National Quality Task Force report that provides a roadmap to consistent and predictable high quality care for every person by 2030. Underscored by the current COVID-19 pandemic, the report specifies opportunities to improve the health outcomes of people and communities with recommendations that focus on the importance of a seamless system of comprehensive, accessible care designed to keep people healthy and well.
“Twenty years ago, a new understanding of avoidable harm mobilized the modern quality movement and launched a series of initiatives to improve the safety and quality of the U.S. healthcare system.” said Shantanu Agrawal, MD, MPhil, president and CEO, National Quality Forum, and Task Force Co-Chair. “Today, COVID-19 and our persistent drive for better health outcomes again call for broad actions to achieve consistent, high quality care for everyone. This report outlines how we can work together to build on our progress, strengths, and the lessons from this pandemic so that every person, everywhere, every time — especially the most vulnerable — can count on high quality care.”
Launched in 2019 with generous support from Kaiser Permanente, Geisinger, the Aetna Foundation, Intermountain Healthcare, the American Hospital Association, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, GlaxoSmithKline, and HCA Healthcare, the National Quality Task Force brought together nearly 100 leaders and diverse stakeholders from across the healthcare ecosystem with one common purpose — identifying actionable opportunities to achieve better health outcomes and value for every person in every community.
Building on the foundation of the Institute of Medicine’s seminal reports, To Err is Human and Crossing the Quality Chasm, the Task Force recommendations outline five strategic objectives supported by 10 opportunities to align the industry to one common roadmap. The recommendations in this report address longstanding, critical challenges in the nation’s quest for quality and seek to scale efforts that have demonstrated the ability to improve quality, value, and safety for people and communities. In releasing this report, the Task Force calls on all public and private sector leaders to come together to embrace an aligned set of priorities to consistently and predictably make care better and safer.
“In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic we are already implementing Task Force recommendations far faster and more seamlessly than we could have envisioned just six months ago,” said Kenneth W. Kizer, MD, MPH, founding National Quality Forum president and CEO, and Task Force Co-Chair. “We can continue building on these efforts to revolutionize healthcare delivery by acting on all 10 opportunities in the Task Force roadmap. We can and must act together to make healthcare work better for every person, every time.”
In developing the Task Force recommendations, leaders sought to emphasize the inter-connected system of care and the importance of shifting from a system optimized to treat the sick to one focused on keeping people healthy and well. “Whether it’s the nation’s opioid epidemic, mental health crisis, coronavirus, or any chronic disease, our healthcare system needs to respond as one coordinated system of care,” said Susan Frampton, PhD, president of Planetree International, and NQF Board Member. “We need all stakeholders—from policy makers to providers, payers, employers, and all leaders who have a role in shaping the safety, quality and value of our healthcare system—to play their part by acting on these recommendations to drive better outcomes for every person and the nation as a whole. In addition to those traditionally involved in healthcare improvement efforts, we must recognize the essential role of patients, their families and community members, and find meaningful ways to bring them into the circle going forward.”
Visit the National Quality Forum to read about the National Quality Task Force. Download The Care We Need to learn more about the recommendations and efforts you can support to drive better outcomes for people and communities.
About National Quality Forum
The National Quality Forum (NQF) works with members of the healthcare community to drive measurable health improvements together. NQF is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization that gives all healthcare stakeholders a voice in advancing quality measures and improvement strategies that lead to better outcomes and greater value. Learn more at www.qualityforum.org.