National Academy of Medicine

A Checklist for Policy Makers

Pay for value  deliver better health and better results for all

  • Tie payments and incentives to value and outcomes
  • Help clinicians develop the core competencies they need to succeed
  • Advance care and payment models that integrate medical and non-medical services

Empower people democratize action for health

  • Link care with personal context
  • Ensure health care information is available, understandable, and useful for all
  • Promote effective telehealth tools and clinician links to patients and families
  • Guarantee patients access, ownership, and protection of their health data

Activate communities – collaborate locally to mobilize resources for health

  • Invest in local leadership and capacity to drive community health collaboration and initiatives
  • Strengthen community-based assessment and strategies targeting high-need individuals
  • Build strong state-based capacity to guide, assist, and coordinate local health efforts

Connect care – implement seamless digital interfaces for the best care

  • Ensure clinical data accessibility and use through infrastructure and regulatory changes
  • Enforce principles and standards for end-to-end (system/clinician/individual) interoperability
  • Implement data and IT strategies that promote a continuously learning health system

Measure what matters most – use consistent core metrics

  • Focus reliably and consistently on the factors most important to better health and care
  • Create the national capacity to identify, standardize, implement, and revise core measures
  • Invest in the science of performance measurement

Modernize skills – train 21st-century health care and science workforces

  • Reform health workforce training to emphasize teams, innovation, and continuous improvement
  • Create new education and training pathways to maintain a robust science workforce

Accelerate real-world evidence – integrate clinical care data for progress

  • Draw on real-world clinical data to accelerate knowledge and improve care, outcomes, and innovation
  • Foster a culture of data sharing by strengthening incentives and standards
  • Partner with patients and families to invest them in evidence generation and data sharing

Advance science – forge innovation-ready research and partnerships

  • Promote practices and policies for scientific innovation and collaboration
  • Support an adaptive and patient-engaged regulatory framework
  • Foster cross-disciplinary and public-private partnerships for continuous learning


For the complete Vital Directions collection and related resources, visit

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