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July 20, 2005

Optimizing the Science of Quality Improvement

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

JAMA. 2005;294(3):369-371. doi:10.1001/jama.294.3.369

Physicians should always strive to optimize the form and intensity of interventions used in medical care and to find an ideal strategy that maximizes therapeutic benefits while minimizing adverse consequences and costs. With regard to pharmacological intervention, optimization of process is usually accomplished by comparison of varying drug combinations and drug doses in formal randomized clinical trials. In a similar manner, quality improvement (QI) interventions should also be tested and optimized through rigorously designed evaluations. And, as with drug therapy, it is important to define the form of intervention and the intensity required to effectively and efficiently improve care practices.

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