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February 26, 2003

Improving Quality and Reducing DisparitiesToward a Common Pathway

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Office of Priority Populations Research, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, Md.

JAMA. 2003;289(8):1033-1034. doi:10.1001/jama.289.8.1033

Two influential reports from the Institute of Medicine, Crossing the Quality Chasm1 and Unequal Treatment,2 have focused attention on contemporary challenges confronting health care delivery. The first describes a health care system that often fails to provide care based on current science and that is customized to the needs and preferences of individuals. The second summarizes increasing evidence reflecting systematic differences in care associated with patient race, ethnicity, and other factors. Both reports have prompted considerable discussions and debate among the medical profession and the public. However, a growing consensus accepts that a strategy integrating reduction in disparities in quality of care is a coherent and efficient approach to redesigning the US health care system.3

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