Technical assistance for CVE Learning Network

One of the resources being made available to the newly designated Chartered Value Exchanges, or CVEs, will be technical assistance provided by the Sacramento, CA-based Center for Health Improvement (CHI). The company is positioned to provide such assistance, as it is already playing a similar role in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative "Aligning Forces for Quality."

"We will be providing technical assistance for the Learning Network, which is similar to 'aligning forces,'" explains Patricia Powers, MPPA, CHI president and CEO.

"First of all, we conducted a needs assessment," says Powers. "We interviewed 25 or so experts in the field, asked them where they saw gaps in terms of [health care] products and services where the CVEs could benefit."

At her company's annual meeting in September, Powers says, she spoke to the community leader organizations, predecessors to the CVEs, and asked them what their priorities were. "Based on that and our experience with Robert Wood Johnson, we came up with products and services to offer them," she shares. "We talked with AHRQ [the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality] and developed a plan for the next couple of years as to the technical analysis."

The analysis will involve conducting inventory across seven key content areas, looking at the business case for quality by sector, and creating an electronic performance measurement public reporting mapping system. "We will move from selecting the measures to how to aggregate data, what are the data sources, and how to create a report card in the community," Powers explains. "There are also off-the-shelf products that can be used locally to inform people about hospital and physician performance."

Hospitals and quality professionals will benefit in a number of ways, Powers asserts. "First, they will be getting the technical assistance; then, they will learn from each other — one of the key reasons to have a learning network. They will learn best practices and incorporate them into their own. They will also have exposure to national experts on all these topics. There are a number of wonderful initiatives, from Leapfrog to CMS' Hospital Compare, to AHRQ's [Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project] tool for looking at data. In short, they will benefit from being familiar with the myriad resources out there and how to incorporate them into their own community strategy."

[For more information, contact:

Patricia Powers, MPPA, president and CEO, Center for Health Improvement, 1330 21st Street, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95811. Phone: (916) 930-9200 Fax: (916) 930-9010.]