Quality and Innovation

National Quality Strategy

Part of the Affordable Care Act was to establish a National Quality Strategy (NQS) to align quality measures and quality improvement activities across America. The NQS is based on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Triple Aim, a framework that describes an approach to optimizing health system performance.

Connections health centers can align to the NQS and Triple Aim using one or more of the nine NQS levers to identify core business functions, resources, and/or actions that may serve as means for achieving improved health and health care quality. Two of these levers are:

  • “Measurement and Feedback” to provide performance data for the purpose of identifying and addressing areas of quality improvement.
  • “Learning and Technical Assistance” to foster learning environments and promote evidence-based best practices that help organizations achieve quality improvement goals.

The reports, best practices, and quality measures in this section are intended to support the efforts of Connections health centers to adhere to these two levers in the NQS.


In an 2019 article in Forbes Magazine, innovation is defined as “something different that creates value”. An excerpt follows. Read the full article here.

When people hear the term “innovation,” they tend to think of new-to-the-world gadgets that fundamentally change how we live our lives. Yes, but it’s many other things, too. Let’s break down the definition:

  • “Something” includes products and technology. It also includes services, processes, revenue models and loads of other things. Consider this: Many would argue, quite convincingly, that the Toyota Production System was one of the biggest innovations of the 20th century.
  • “Different” often surprises people. After all, even Merriam Webster defines innovation as “something new.” But here’s the thing: One of the most commonly cited innovations, the iPhone, wasn’t new. Even Steve Jobs admitted it when he said in his keynote speech that Apple was introducing three products: a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a mobile phone and an internet-connected device. The iPhone was different, however, because it combined those three devices into one.
  • “Creates value” is probably the most important part of the definition. All innovations solve problems. Solving problems creates value. If you solve a big problem, either because it’s a problem lots of people have or it’s a very painful problem a few people have or something in-between, you create a lot of value for others and for yourself.