Improving Performance Through Innovation and Organizational Change

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Improving Chronic Illness Care

Americans receive only about 55 percent of the recommended quality of care. The Robert Wood Johnson foundation is attempting to change that through their new initiative--Aligning Forces for Quality--and has selected Dennis Scanlon, associate professor of health policy and administration in the College of Health and Human Development, to lead evaluation of the program.

Aligning Forces is designed to help communities to advance the quality of care for chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, depression, and asthma. Improvements in this area have been complicated by the adverse interests of the major players in the health care system. "We're talking about groups with competing interests, like doctors and insurers," says Scanlon. Now the Foundation is asking "Can communities make this happen, and how?" Read More

Cancer Survivors Require Distinct Care

Citing shortfalls in the care currently provided to the country's 10 million cancer survivors, a new report recommends that each cancer patient receive a "survivorship care plan." The report, by the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council of the National Academies, said such plans should summarize information critical to the individual's long-term care, such as the cancer diagnosis, treatment, and potential consequences; the timing and content of follow-up visits; tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and preventing recurrent or new cancers; legal rights affecting employment and insurance; and the availability of psychological and support services. Read more