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J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2006 Fall;26(4):268-84.

Integrating education into primary care quality and cost improvement at an academic medical center.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medical Education and Office of Continuing Medical Education, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0201, USA. rvh@umich.edu

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

In 1996 the University of Michigan Health System created the Guidelines Utilization, Implementation, Development, and Evaluation Studies (GUIDES) unit to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of primary care for common medical problems. GUIDES's primary functions are to oversee the development of evidence-based, practical clinical guidelines for common medical conditions; measure and provide feedback on physicians' performance; and facilitate systemic changes to support appropriate care. Various methods are used to improve care, including evidence reviews, formal education, informal clinical "opinion leaders," feedback, reminders, and procedure changes. Twenty-four common medical conditions have been addressed through this process. More than 30 measures of clinical performance have been developed and reported.

METHODS:

This case study describes a systematic, multifaceted program to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of primary care.

RESULTS:

Illustrative results for clinical performance are presented for 2 measures of chronic care, 2 measures of preventive care, and 2 measures of acute care. All 6 measures show general improvement in performance across years, with performance near or above the National Committee for Quality Assurance's 90th percentile for Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set measures.

DISCUSSION:

A systematic approach involving all relevant components of a health system integrates the synthesis of information, education about the information and how to implement it, and addressing operational barriers. Benefits include a curriculum that is shared across faculty, residents, and medical students and more uniform quality of care that faculty model for physicians-in-training.

PMID:
17163498
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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