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Case Study


Rhode Island Quality Institute: A Statewide Partnership to Improve Health Care Quality

Rhode Island was the first state to begin moving toward establishing statewide public–private partnerships for quality improvement and is the only state to have established an independent nonprofit organization to house and coordinate such efforts. Since its initial collaborative forum in 2001, the Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI) has guided the state toward notable improvements in reducing hospital-acquired infections and costs, establishing statewide capacity to fill electronic prescriptions, and adopting electronic health records by the majority of practices. RIQI is successful because its leadership structure includes top-level health care executives who must participate directly in all meetings, enabling rapid decision-making. The organization collaborates across government, industry, provider, and consumer groups. RIQI has built a solid foundation that allowed it to receive a $15.9 million Beacon Community grant which will help further its mission to create a statewide electronic health information system.



This study was based on publicly available information and self-reported data provided by the case study institution(s). The aim of Commonwealth Fund–sponsored case studies of this type is to identify institutions that have achieved results indicating high performance in a particular area of interest, have undertaken innovations designed to reach higher performance, or exemplify attributes that can foster high performance. The studies are intended to enable other institutions to draw lessons from the studied institutions' experience that will be helpful in their own efforts to become high performers. Even the best-performing organizations may fall short in some areas or make mistakes—emphasizing the need for systematic approaches to improve quality and prevent harm to patients and staff. The Commonwealth Fund is not an accreditor of health care organizations or systems, and the inclusion of an institution in the Fund's case study series is not an endorsement by the Fund for receipt of health care from the institution.


Publication Details



D. Chase, Rhode Island Quality Institute: A Statewide Partnership to Improve Health Care Quality, The Commonwealth Fund, December 2010.