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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration

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HRSA's Role in Quality Improvement

The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) has a longstanding commitment to increasing access and improve the quality of healthcare for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable the in the United States.

This website’s purpose is to provide HRSA grantees and the safety net population a centralized source of information, examples, and technical resources on HRSA’s quality improvement programs and initiatives.

HRSA touches over 17 million lives.  Altogether, HRSA and its federal health sector partners (see below)are working to improve quality in care and services for 1 in 9 U.S. residents through a variety of health care programs.  To learn more about population or setting- specific quality efforts within HRSA, please follow the links below:

HRSA’s primary goal is to “Improve Access to Quality Health Care & Services” (HRSA’s Strategic Plan). HRSA is active in improving quality at all levels:

  1. Federal
  2. State and local
  3. Point of Care

1. Federal Level

HRSA works closely with its sister agencies in the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to coordinate quality improvement efforts across the U.S. 

HRSA has also begun sharing insights and lessons learned with its federal health sector “care delivery” partners. This growing collaboration will ultimately allow better coordination and quality of care for individual patients and among family members cared for by different government supported care providers:    

2. State/Region Level

At the state and local level, HRSA works with 

Along with numerous public and private educational and technical assistance groups.

HRSA provides expertise and program support to improve quality and access for healthcare delivery and health promotion in rural, frontier, and urban settings..

3) Point of Care

HRSA works directly with leadership at healthcare delivery sites to track and report on quality performance and use the data locally to improve the quality of care.  

In addition, HRSA supports collaboration to promote best practices and quality measurement, for example collaboratives to improve chronic disease management.  One example is HRSA’s Breaththrough Collobratives and HRSA’s partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s on the Center for Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration.exit disclaimer

HRSA’s Office of Health Information and Technology and Quality also produces monthly technical assistance webinars available online that bring together experts within the safety net community to share their best practices within the healthcare delivery system on a variety of quality and health IT topics.

HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau conducts two national surveys, the National Survey of Children’s Health and the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs.  

There is a growing effort to ensure that quality measures are in use across healthcare settings. HRSA is a part of in the development of quality measures and engaged with both Federal and nonprofit organizations responsible for this area. HRSA works with AHRQ’s National Quality Measures Clearninghouse for ensuring HHS’s quality measures are propers for HRSA grantees and their patient populations.  HRSA also sits on the board of the National Quality Forum (NQF)exit disclaimer, an that brings transparency and rigorous scientific evaluation to quality measurement. In addition, HRSA is aligning UDS clinical quality measures with the clinical quality measure criteria set forth in CMS’s Electronic Health Record Incentive Program (Meaningful Use).

HRSA’s ultimate goal is to ensure that all patients are getting the same, high quality health care.

HRSA’s commitment to “quality” begins even before a patient seeks medical care. The Institute of Medicineexit disclaimer defines quality as: “…The degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge”. HRSA sponsored initiatives or partnerships in prevention such as nutrition & physical activity, prenatal careexit disclaimer, early childhood careexit disclaimer, and screening for enhancing health outcomes and quality before medical care is sought.

HRSA’s leadership and existing effort to measure the patient experience,  Patient engagement and customer satisfaction initiatives enhance the health care experience.