The National Priorities Partnership released six goals to improve healthcare and cut waste with an eye toward meeting most of the goals within three to five years.
"We have a new administration and Congress in Washington," said Janet Corrigan, president and chief executive officer of the National Quality Forum at a Nov. 17 conference to release the report Aligning Our Efforts to Transform America's Healthcare. "It's time to turn long-standing hope into real action," she said. The NQF convened the not-for-profit partnership earlier this year.
The plan is to "work with everybody," Corrigan said, including Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), both of whom chair key healthcare committees in the Senate and are in the process of crafting healthcare-reform legislation. "We've been getting inquiries from Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate."
The six goals should also be useful to President-elect Barack Obama's transition team, Corrigan added.
The partnership includes 28 groups that have agreed to collaborate on a core set of improvements. The six goals involve improvements in the areas of care coordination; overuse and reducing waste; patient safety and reducing errors; palliative and end-of-life care; patient and family engagement; and population health.
Margaret O'Kane, president of the National Committee for Quality Assurance and co-chair of the partnership, indicated that electronic health records would be one way to make care more coordinated. However, a healthcare system needs to be created to support these types of health information technology initiatives, she added.
Richard Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association and one of the speakers at the conference, commended the report for providing a useful "blueprint" to the hospital industry to guide future efforts in improving care to patients.