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July 5, 2006

Measuring Hospital Quality: What Physicians Do? How Patients Fare? Or Both?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, VA Boston Healthcare System and the Division of General Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass.

JAMA. 2006;296(1):95-97. doi:10.1001/jama.296.1.95

Just 2 decades ago, most US citizens presumed they received high-quality care, and neither patients nor physicians were much concerned with quality measurement. The landscape has changed. Lapses in quality of care provided by the US health care system—the most expensive health care system in the world—are now widely recognized.1,2 The Institute of Medicine's report of 2001 proclaimed a chasm between how the US health care system currently performs and its ideal1; since then, more recent data show persistent deficiencies in care.2 There is little doubt of the ample opportunities to improve the health care Americans receive.

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