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  • Five Local Hospitals Selected To Participate In National Quality Improvement Effort

    Dec. 14, 2010

    Cincinnati Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) today announced that six different teams from five hospitals across the Greater Cincinnati region will participate in the AF4Q Hospital Quality Network, an innovative, nationwide program to address issues of quality and equity of care in the hospital setting.

    AF4Q is an initiative of the Health Improvement Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, aimed at lifting the overall quality of health care in Greater Cincinnati and providing models for national reform.

    The AF4Q Hospital Quality Network includes three separate programs to help hospitals:

    • Ensure that patients who are discharged from the hospital aren’t readmitted because they missed important elements of their care
    • Reduce the amount of time patients spend waiting in emergency departments
    • Improve how they communicate with diverse patients

    “There is a lot that is right about our local health care system, including good doctors, nurses, hospitals and employers who care about people having access to safe, high quality health care,” said Nancy Strassel, senior vice president at the Greater Cincinnati Health Council, the organization leading the Hospital Quality Network effort on behalf of AF4Q. “But here, as everywhere, there are gaps in the quality of care that people receive. The hospitals that are participating in this program are part of an effort to help close those gaps so every patient receives excellent care every time, and to systematically improve care throughout the Greater Cincinnati region.”

    Hospital teams participating in the AF4Q Hospital Quality Network will work to improve the quality and safety of patient care by piloting and testing new quality improvement strategies over an 18-month period.

    In the Reducing Readmissions component, three hospital teams from Dearborn County Hospital, McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital and University Hospital will each focus on the cardiac care provided at their institution, with the specific goal of reducing readmission rates among heart patients. The initiative will focus on cardiac care because the recommended standard of care for cardiac patients – whether experiencing a heart attack, heart failure or other condition – is clear and accepted among medical professionals nationwide.

    In the Increasing Throughput component, two hospital teams from St. Elizabeth Edgewood and St. Elizabeth Florence will focus on making their emergency departments more efficient. The process of getting patients through the emergency department in a timely manner – either to be treated and released or assigned a bed in an appropriate hospital unit – is known as throughput. Slow throughput frustrates patients and doesn’t result in the highest-quality care.

    In the Improving Language Services component, one hospital team from University Hospital will work to improve the care experience for patients who speak or understand limited English. The hospital will work to ensure that these patients consistently receive their initial assessments and discharge instructions from a qualified language services provider. These two points in care are especially critical for ensuring that quality outcomes result.

    Lessons learned in Greater Cincinnati and from hospital teams in the 16 other Robert Wood Johnson- funded AF4Q regions participating in this national effort will ultimately be shared with hospitals across the country to improve the quality and equity of care delivered in all communities.

    For more information, call Nancy Strassel at (513) 531-0200 or visit www.rwjf.org.


    The Greater Cincinnati Health Council is a widely recognized association that provides a unique forum where hospital and health care leaders collaborate to create a stronger health care community. For more than 50 years, the Council has served as a trusted voice on hospital and health care issues in the Tristate region.

    The Health Improvement Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati is dedicated to bringing multiple and diverse interests together to transform Tristate health care. The Collaborative assembles community stakeholders … hospitals, physicians, insurers, patients, business, education and government … with the goal of generating measurable, sustainable health improvement.

    Hospitals in the Greater Cincinnati region participating in the AF4Q Hospital Quality Network are:

    • Dearborn County Hospital – Lawrenceburg, Indiana
    • McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital – Oxford, Ohio
    • St. Elizabeth Edgewood – Edgewood, Kentucky
    • St. Elizabeth Florence – Florence, Kentucky
    • University Hospital – Cincinnati, Ohio
    © Copyright Greater Cincinnati Health Council 2011