Edited by Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.
With the advent of managed care in the United States, the conversation
over the direction of medicine (as an industry and as a practice) has become
laden with terms heretofore unfamiliar to the majority of health care professionals.
These business concepts may be relatively new to the discourse concerning
health care, but they have long been standard fare in the discussion of effective
corporate management, specifically with respect to W. E. Deming's precepts
of "total quality improvement." These precepts have been widely applied to
systems of health care, with what have been reported as beneficial results.
Borrowing from the language of corporate management has provided a new way
to articulate age-old frustrations of patients with existing systems of care
delivery and has helped to point the way toward improving care with a variety
of forward-thinking and laudable concepts, such as improving overall patient
satisfaction, reducing the use of unnecessary procedures or tests, and restructuring
payment schedules to reward those who emphasize preventive, rather than reparative,
Jackson WC. In a Word. JAMA. 1998;280(6):493-494. doi:10.1001/jama.280.6.493