Evaluating a complex, multi-site, community-based program to improve healthcare quality: the summative research design for the Aligning Forces for Quality initiative

Dennis P. Scanlon, Laura J. Wolf, Jeffrey A. Alexander, Jon B. Christianson, Jessica Greene, Muriel Jean-Jacques, Megan McHugh, Yunfeng Shi, Brigitt Leitzell, Jocelyn M. Vanderbrink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) initiative was the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF's) signature effort to increase the overall quality of healthcare in targeted communities throughout the country. In addition to sponsoring this 16-site complex program, RWJF funded an independent scientific evaluation to support objective research on the initiative's effectiveness and contributions to basic knowledge in 5 core programmatic areas. The research design, data, and challenges faced during the summative evaluation phase of this near decade-long program are discussed.

STUDY DESIGN: A descriptive overview of the summative research design and its development for a multi-site, community-based, healthcare quality improvement initiative is provided.

METHODS: The summative research design employed by the evaluation team is discussed.

RESULTS: The evaluation team's summative research design involved a data-driven assessment of the effectiveness of the AF4Q program at large, assessments of the impact of AF4Q in the specific programmatic areas, and an assessment of how the AF4Q alliances were positioned for the future at the end of the program.

CONCLUSION: The AF4Q initiative was the largest privately funded community-based healthcare improvement initiative in the United States to date and was implemented at a time of rapid change in national healthcare policy. The implementation of large-scale, multi-site initiatives is becoming an increasingly common approach for addressing problems in healthcare. The summative evaluation research design for the AF4Q initiative, and the lessons learned from its approach, may be valuable to others tasked with evaluating similarly complex community-based initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)es8-es16
JournalThe American journal of managed care
Volume22
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy

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