The third phase of the Pathway focuses on aligning multiple efforts across the region under a common vision. In this phase, collaborative relationships among a whole array of stakeholders are well established, and the collaboration has logged experience with multiple cooperative projects and accomplishments. The Align Phase is different from earlier phases because:
In a successful Align Phase of regional health system transformation, leaders recognize that the impact of their efforts will be magnified if they are connected in meaningful ways. A well-established multi-stakeholder leadership team, carefully composed for adequate diversity and system perspective, organizes to link an array of health and healthcare improvement efforts. If a backbone organization was not launched in Phase 2, then Phase 3 typically is the time when significant investment in collaborative infrastructure—especially the information technology to support shared measurement—becomes critical. Align Phase efforts also are characterized by growing recognition of the importance of involving local residents in devising shared aims and helping to bridge relationships with different groups.
As a consequence, community forums and convenings become more common. In addition, the array of funding sources for community-based efforts broadens and there is more creative thinking about the deployment of things like hospital community benefit funding to deepen the impact of community-provider partnerships. The Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement (ARCHI), representative of more than 90 organizations, is an example of a stewardship group in Phase 3. Together, its members were able to publish a regional Playbook outlining the group’s priorities, which include encouraging healthy behaviors, increasing pathways to advantage for families and students, increasing care coordination, and expanding health insurance coverage.
The ability to transition from the Align Phase to the Redesign Phase on the Pathway depends on whether the stakeholders involved can weather some failures in their shared tasks, are making investments in collaborative infrastructure that keeps pace with the scope of their efforts, and have the patience and attention to persist over time.
Transition from Phase 3 to 4 also depends on whether collaborations can take on more difficult topics and accept that there will be winners and losers moving forward. Because Phase 4 involves significant redesign of the system—including addressing competitive relations among organizations how providers are paid and resources distributed—the activities of Phase 3 must foster trusting relationships anchored in genuinely shared values to enable the next leap forward.
Read the full descriptions of the Phase 3 Pitfalls.
Read the full descriptions of the Phase 3 Momentum Builders.
Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement (ARCHI)