Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Volume 23, Number 3, August 2012, Supplement
pp. 34-48 | 10.1353/hpu.2012.0127
Care and outcomes for individuals living with sickle cell disease (SCD) vary across institutions and communities. The Hemoglobinopathy Learning Collaborative (HLC) seeks to improve outcomes across the life course through improvement science. Faculty identified five key drivers of improved outcomes: a strong community network; knowledgeable, proactive individuals, families and providers; reliable identification and follow-up; seamless co-management between primary and specialty care; and appropriate treatment for acute episodes. Using a modified Delphi process, we selected improvement measures aligned with the drivers. Data are collected via a Web-based system linked to a reporting portal. Participating teams include consumers, community organizations and primary and specialty care providers. This commentary reviews the context of SCD in the U.S.; describes the framework, measures, and technology infrastructure already created for the HLC; reports on the early experience of teams; highlights the initiative’s challenges and opportunities; and reflects on its implications in the setting of health reform.