Given the wide range of quality issues that may be addressed by RAM coalitions, we suggest that coalitions take advantage of the marketing and consumer-oriented information provided by National Partners and other organizations. For example:
The Agency for Healthcare Research and
Quality (AHRQ) provides the most recent quality measurements and quality statistics. As part of its effort to make health care safer and reduce medical errors, AHRQ has developed materials that will help patients choose wisely when it comes to their health care. On their Web site, under "Consumer Health," you will find such items as:
These can also be found in the "Resources" section of RAMcampaign.org under Consumer-Oriented Patient Care.
AHRQ’s Improving Health Care Quality: A Guide for Patients and Families, which is also in Spanish, provides a series of tips on how to become a more informed consumer and advocate for quality health care such as:
The American Hospital Association (AHA) Web site has an extensive Resource Center that includes consumer and health leader links as well as statistics and recent studies. (See Appendix E.) The brochure, The Patient Care Partnership is available in seven languages. It can be found on AHA's home page under the section entitled Communicating with Patients.
As mentioned earlier, Hospital Compare, a Web site produced by CMS along with the Hospital Quality Alliance, provides information on local hospitals as well as a helpful series of patient tools including a hospital checklist and a description of a patient's rights when in the hospital.
AHA in collaboration with the Institute for Family-Centered Care (IFCC) has produced an excellent resource guide entitled Strategies for Leadership: Patient- and Family-Centered Care. In addition, IFCC has created numerous flyers and videos including Tips for Group Leaders and Facilitators on Involving Patients and Families on Committees and Tasks Forces. These can also be found in the "Resources" section of RAMcampaign.org under Consumer-Oriented Patient Care.
On AARP's Web site, under Health, click on "Staying Healthy," then on Check-ups and Prevention to access a series of consumer-friendly tips including How to Talk to Your Doctor and a downloadable brochure, Handbook for Mortals: Talking with Your Doctor. On the American College of Physicians Web site, search for Patient Safety and download Patient Safety Tips and Patient Safety FAQs. These can also be found in the "Resources" section of RAMcampaign.org under Patient Safety.
The Health Disparities Collaboratives is an initiative of the Health Resources Services Administration’s Bureau of Primary Health Care designed to reduce disparities in health outcomes for poor, minority, and other underserved people with chronic diseases. The Health Disparities Collaboratives Web site is home for a community of learners who are committed to improving health care. It provides the centralized portal for communication as well as a forum for sharing the challenges, successes and lessons learned.
Healthfinder®, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a guide to reliable consumer health and human services information. It provides lists of online publications, clearinghouses, databases, Web sites and support and self-help groups, as well as referrals to government agencies and nonprofit organizations that produce reliable information for the public.
|Tip: In Appendix E you will find the URL of each organization mentioned in this chapter, as well as other related Web sites, brochures, videos, etc. We also encourage you to log on to RAMcampaign.org and click on Resources.|
“Today, all of us need to work together toward the day when every
dollar we invest in health care buys a dollar’s worth of value and the day
when Americans don’t just ‘have the best health care in the world’ -- rather,
that they actually get the best quality health care, consistently, in their own hospitals and physicians’ offices.”
-- Carolyn Clancy, MD, director
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality