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Home > News Room > Foundation chooses Falls Memorial for national quality initiative

Foundation chooses Falls Memorial for national quality initiative

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is one of only 137 hospitals nationwide that recently selected to participate in Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q), a quality improvement initiative that aims to improve the quality, efficiency and equity of care across the country and in the Greater Niagara Region.

Memorial was hand-picked to join the AF4Q Hospital Quality Network by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated to improving the health and health care of all Americans.

The AF4Q Hospital Quality Network includes several quality improvement efforts designed to help hospitals tackle key quality issues. Niagara Falls Memorial will participate in two: reducing readmissions for cardiac patients and increasing emergency department throughput.

“The RWJ Foundation’s selection of Niagara Falls Memorial to participate in this national quality initiative along with some of the most prestigious hospitals in the country further demonstrates our dedication to enhancing the community’s health status with improved outcomes in the most cost effective manner,” Memorial President & CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo said.

As a participant in the Reducing Readmissions component, Memorial will look to make cutting-edge and lasting changes to improve the quality of cardiac care with a specific goal of reducing readmission rates.

The medical center’s objectives for the Increasing Throughput component include improving the timeliness of emergency care delivery while identifying and reducing potential racial and ethnic disparities in the delivery of that care.  Memorial’s ER1 Emergency Department aims to improve select emergency department performance measures by 15 percent before March 2012.

“As Western New York and the nation look at improving care, it is important that we provide local models of reforms that are good for everyone,” Ruffolo said.

Both components call for medical center staff to play lead roles in piloting new quality and patient safety improvement strategies over an 18-month period.  Those efforts will include collecting and submitting data that will be analyzed by patient race, ethnicity and language.

“By participating in the AF4Q Hospital Quality Network, Memorial will be on the front lines improving patient care and increasing efficiency to produce better outcomes for patients,” said project leaders Colleen Congi, R.N., and Laura Cherry, R.N.

Aligning Forces for Quality is the Foundation’s signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in targeted communities, as well as reduce racial and ethnic disparities and provide models for national reform.  The P2 Collaborative was selected by RWJF to lead the local AF4Q alliance in Western New York.  In all, 17 regions of the country have been designated as part of Aligning Forces.  In each region, a range of efforts to help doctors, nurses and hospitals improve quality – as well as engage consumers to be better patients – is being tested.

Funded by RWJF, AF4Q and the AF4Q Hospital Quality Network are coordinated by The Center for Health Care Quality at The George Washington University Medical Center School of Public Health and Health Services, which serves as the national program office for the Aligning Forces for Quality initiative.

Ruffolo thanks staff for making Memorial a great place to work

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