Aligning Forces for Quality Evaluation

Complex health care improvement initiatives require complex evaluation designs...

The Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) initiative is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities and provide models for national reform.

Evaluation of RWJF’s AF4Q program includes tracking program activities, interviewing stakeholders from different perspectives in the 16 communities funded by AF4Q, and administering national surveys to assess the impact of AF4Q interventions and identify lessons learned about the collaborative, mulitstakeholder approach to improving health care at the community level.

The broad reach of the AF4Q program puts us in a unique position to capture data and develop insights that can inform policymakers, program funders, and those working to implement health improvement interventions in communities.Through the evaluation, we hope to expand the knowledge base in the field of health services research.

While our work to provide inferences about the effect of AF4Q will extend into 2016, so far the evaluation team, which includes several university-based researchers representing multiple disciplines, has produced more than 50 articles and research summaries related to AF4Q. A report released in November of 2014, Early and Mid-Course Findings from the Evaluation of a National Health Improvement Program (download PDF here), provides a summary of our findings and contributions to the literature, as well information on what is yet to come in the summative stage of the evaluation.

To measure the impact of the AF4Q initiative, the AF4Q Evaluation places particular emphasis on five key areas:

You can also learn more about our evaluation design in a 2012 special edition of the American Journal of Managed Care: Evaluating a Community-Based Program to Improve Healthcare Quality: Research Design for the Aligning Forces for Quality Initiative