Accelerating implementation of biomedical research advances: Critical elements of a successful 10 year Cystic Fibrosis Foundation healthcare delivery improvement initiative

Bruce C. Marshall, Eugene C. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Context: Scientific and therapeutic advances: Remarkable biomedical research advances have led to innovative and increasingly effective therapies. We highlight several scientific milestones in elucidating the pathophysiology of cystic fibrosis (CF) and review the therapies that have become available over the past 20 years. Impact of the quality improvement initiative: In 2002, the CF Foundation launched a multifaceted quality improvement initiative to accelerate improvement in CF care. We present evidence of substantial improvement in process measures, such as more consistent outpatient follow-up, and key medical outcomes, including survival, pulmonary function and nutritional status. Critical success factors: We offer our perspective on factors critical to the success of the quality improvement initiative, including a compelling strategic plan and the commitment of the CF Foundation to its implementation; the investment in building improvement capacity at CF care centres; the engagement of people with CF and their families as partners; and the integration of quality improvement into the existing CF care framework. Directions for the next decade: In addition to a continued investment in building and sustaining improvement capacity at CF care centres, and deeper patient engagement, we will address the oppressive treatment burden. We will also complement the measurement of clinical outcomes with patient reported outcomes and healthcare costs for a balanced assessment of the quality and value of care. Conclusions: Major advances in basic science and therapeutic development coupled with improvements in healthcare delivery have resulted in striking gains in medical outcomes for people with CF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)i95-i103
JournalBMJ Quality and Safety
Issue numberSUPPL1
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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