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J Qual Assur. 1991 Jan-Feb;13(1):10-3.

Medicare: a strategy for quality assurance.

Author information

1
Division of Health Care Sciences, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC.

Abstract

This paper has outlined a strategy proposed by an IOM study committee for a quality review and assurance program for Medicare. The committee intended that such a program respond to several major issues, including: the burdens of harm of poor quality of care (poor performance of clinicians in both technical and interpersonal ways, unnecessary and inappropriate services, and lack of needed and appropriate services); difficulties and incentives presented by the organization and financing of healthcare; the state of scientific knowledge; the problems of adversarial, punitive, and burdensome external QA activities and the need to foster successful internal, organization-based QA programs; the adequacy of quality review and assurance methods and tools; and the human and financial resources for quality assurance. In comparison with the existing federal peer review organization program, the IOM's proposed program is intended to focus far more directly on quality assurance, cover all major settings of care, emphasize both a wide range of patient outcomes and the process of care, and have a greatly expanded program evaluation component and greater public oversight and accountability. In laying out the details of such a program, the IOM committee advanced 10 recommendations to support its proposed program. Two of these call for the Secretary of DHHS to support and expand research and educational activities designed to improve the nation's knowledge base and capacity for quality assurance. Finally, the committee emphasized both the extraordinary challenges of quality assurance and the diversity of support for addressing those challenges, noting that patients, providers, and societal agents all have a responsibility in this regard. Building the nation's capacity through additional research and expanded educational efforts is a major cornerstone of the entire enterprise.

PMID:
10109548
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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