This brief reports on a qualitative evaluation of how Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) use cohorts to support quality improvement initiatives implemented by State Flex Programs (SFPs). This policy brief, Evaluation of the Use of CAH Cohorts for Quality Improvement Activities, examines:
- How SFPs use cohorts in their Quality Improvement (QI) initiatives;
- The benefits and challenges of utilizing CAH cohorts;
- Opportunities to enhance the use of cohorts in Flex Program initiatives.
The Flex Monitoring Team lays out a conceptual framework to assess the cohort projects proposed by SFPs and the extent to which they are likely to contribute to improved QI performance by the participants. Successful SFP cohort initiatives actively engage CAHs in implementing a shared QI project, provide opportunities for shared learning, and establish a clear data reporting process. The findings from this study of QI cohorts can also inform efforts to use cohorts in other Flex Program areas.