Background: The objective of this study was to determine whether participation in a quality improvement (QI) collaborative for heart failure (HF) was associated with better interpersonal aspects of care and health outcomes.
Methods and results: We conducted a cross-sectional telephone survey of patients in 6 organizations who participated in a QI collaborative for HF (participants, n = 387) and 6 comparable control organizations (controls, n = 414) and measured provider-patient communication, education received, knowledge of HF, self-management behaviors, satisfaction, and quality of life. The participant group patients were more likely to report their doctor and nurse discussed treatment options and reviewed self-management (P < .01 for both). A total of 88% of participants were told to weigh themselves daily and record their weight compared with 34% of controls (P < .01). Participants were more likely to know how often to check their weight (P < .01), recognize symptoms of worsening HF (P < or = .01 for all), have a scale (P = .002), and monitor their weight daily (P < .001). Participants had similar quality of life but fewer emergency department visits and hospitalizations.
Conclusion: Participation in a QI collaborative for HF was associated with better communication, education, and knowledge, and lower health care use. Collaboratives may be a useful method for disseminating quality improvement strategies.