Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative a Featured Contributor in New Book on Harnessing Wisdom of Learning Collaboratives to Improve Care, Save Lives

Updated on February 17, 2016

More than 35 internationally recognized healthcare experts, including Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) President and CEO Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD, joined forces to write a new book that showcases how healthcare learning collaboratives can improve the quality, safety, and compassion of our healthcare system. All In: Using Healthcare Collaboratives to Save Lives and Improve Care, is now available on Amazon.

“Knowledge in medical care is continually evolving, so the need for ongoing education is paramount,” Dr. Feinstein says. “Learning collaboratives accelerate the translation of new knowledge into practice, unite rival systems in the name of better patient care, and hold the promise of finally moving the needle on America’s population health, which lags far behind that of other developed nations. This new book serves as a playbook for harnessing the collective wisdom of learning collaboratives.”

Founded in 1997 as an operating arm of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, PRHI is one of the nation’s first regional collaboratives of medical, business, and civic leaders organized to address healthcare safety and quality improvement as a social and business imperative.

Collective, ongoing learning is an essential ingredient in the success of PRHI initiatives ranging from its fellowship programs for young and emerging professionals,

to its Perfecting Patient CareSM quality improvement training, to its role as a leader and founding member of the Network for Regional Health Improvement (NRHI), which is a collection of 30-plus regional collaboratives from around the U.S. that partner to advance population health and policy. In Western Pennsylvania and beyond, PRHI has guided efforts to drastically reduce hospital-acquired infections, bolster the healthcare workforce, and transform care delivery and payment through demonstration projects that smooth the transition for patients between medical and community settings and integrate physical and behavioral health care.

Funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, All In: Using Healthcare Collaboratives to Save Lives and Improve Care captures a wealth of experience by healthcare professionals who have designed and run healthcare collaboratives. The book covers the origin of the healthcare collaborative before delving into many successful collaborative efforts with various goals and in diverse settings. The authors share their best practices and how they overcame challenges.

Dr. Feinstein and Nancy Zionts, JHF’s chief operating and program officer, contributed a book chapter on engaging patients and families in their care to improve health outcomes. PRHI Chief Medical and Informatics Officer Bruce Block, MD, and Dr. Feinstein collaborated on another chapter focused on translating knowledge into action on the front lines of health care. PRHI Consultant Susan Elster, PhD, contributed a case study on PRHI’s Champions programs, which provide clinical leaders from various disciplines with skills to stimulate organizational success.

Other topics explored in this collection include recruitment, budgeting, data and measurement, and leadership. The authors share how collaboration — with colleagues and, in some cases, even competitors — can lead to large-scale, rapid-cycle improvement. 

“Contributing to All In: Using Healthcare Collaboratives to Save Lives and Improve Care provided an opportunity to explore new ways to deliver care, to relate to our patients, and to encourage them to be more active in promoting their own health,” Dr. Feinstein says. “Learning collaboratives are sort of a sine qua non—what would we do without them? —but we’re always learning more about how to maximize their value.”

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