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Section 6: Resources


This section provides resources that Community Quality Collaborative leaders can use with consumer advocates and suggests several books that can orient advocates to the issues the Community Quality Collaborative plans to address. 

Resources for Community Quality Collaborative Leaders

  • HCUPnet. HCUPnet is a free, online query system based on data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). It provides access to health statistics and information on hospital inpatient and emergency department utilization. HCUPnet's query system allows users to generate tables and graphs on national and regional statistics and trends for community hospitals in the U.S. In addition, community hospital data are available for those States that have agreed to participate in HCUPnet.
  • National Healthcare Quality Report. This report tracks the health care system through quality measures, such as the percent of heart attack patients who received recommended care when they reached the hospital or the percent of children who received recommended vaccinations. National and State-specific information is available via NHQRDRnet, an online query system at NQHRnet provides data by subpopulations (i.e., age ranges) and tracks and displays trends over time for national estimates of nearly 50 measures.
  • The Dartmouth Atlas. The Dartmouth Atlas is an interactive resource for identifying variations in the use of medical care across local markets. It was developed by researchers with the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

Suggested Reading

Glossary of health care and quality terms:

Shannon Brownlee. Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer. New York: Bloomsbury, 2007.

Atul Gawande. Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2007.

Atul Gawande. Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2002.

Rosemary Gibson and Janardan P. Singh. Wall of Silence: The Untold Stories of the Medical Mistakes That Kill and Injure Millions of Americans. Washington, DC: Lifeline Press, 2003.

Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz. You: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006.

Robert M. Wachter and Kaveh Shojania. Internal Bleeding: The Truth Behind America's Terrifying Epidemic of Medical Mistakes. New York: Rugged Land, 2004.


National Health Care Quality Entities

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)12 —The Nation's lead Federal agency for research on health care quality, costs, outcomes, and patient safety.
  • National Quality Forum (NQF)13 —Formed in 1999 based on the recommendations of a President's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry. Serves as the national measurement endorsement entity and the primary forum for setting measurement priorities.
  • National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)14 —Formed in 1990 and has been a central figure driving quality through its accreditation, certification, and recognition programs. Accredits health plans, disease management and managed behavioral health organizations; recognizes high-quality physicians; certifies other programs; develops and implements measures (e.g., HEDIS).
  • The Joint Commission15 —Formed in 1951 to provide voluntary accreditation of hospitals. Accredits hospitals, home health programs, nursing homes, etc.; develops and implements quality measures.
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)16 —Instituted in 1964, CMS is an Agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. Medicare embarked on performance measurement reporting as a vehicle for promoting voluntary quality improvement in 2004. CMS is the payer for Medicare and Medicaid and also sponsors measure development and data aggregation.
  • Quality Alliance Steering Committee (QASC)17 —Formed in 2006 from two key health care quality alliances—the Ambulatory Quality Alliance (AQA) and the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA)—to coordinate the promotion of quality measurement, and speed the adoption of the work of AQA and HQA.
    • AQA Alliance (AQA)18 —Coalition formed in 2004 by physicians, health plans, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which has evolved to be a multi-stakeholder group working on measure implementation for physicians and non-physician clinicians.
  • Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA)19 —Formed in 2002 to increase hospital participation in public reporting and expand use of quality measures. The HQA is a public-private coalition of hospitals, nurses, physician organizations, accrediting agencies, government, consumers, and businesses that sponsor measure implementation initiatives.


Consumer Advocate Contact List

Name of OrganizationFocus/PrioritiesOrganization Representatives:
Name, Position, Phone, Fax, E-mail Address
Assessment of Fit with the Community Quality Collaborative
(Include brief rationale)
Status (Include record of meetings)


12 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Web site:

13 National Quality Forum Web site:

14 National Committee for Quality Assurance Web site:

15 Joint Commission Web site:

16 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Web site:

17 Quality Alliance Steering Committee Web site:

18 AQA Alliance Web site:

19 Hospital Quality Alliance Web site:

AHRQ appreciates citation as to source. Suggested format follows: Sweeney, J. The Community Quality Collaborative Leader's Guide to Engaging Consumers. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, November 2008.

We consider our Learning Network tools to be works in progress and always welcome your comments. Please forward suggestions to AHRQ's Peggy McNamara at

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Page last reviewed November 2008
Internet Citation: Section 6: Resources. November 2008. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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