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May 2, 2011

The Quality of Quality Research

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: AcademyHealth, Washington, DC.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165(5):467-468. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.53

Last month's release of the second child health scorecard by the Commonwealth Fund reminded us of the enduring challenge of suboptimal care for too many children in this country.1 This is just the most recent example of the growing literature documenting the many shortfalls in quality in every aspect of pediatric care. This evidence base has already contributed to significant new federal investments in strategies to measure and improve pediatric quality through the reauthorization of the Child Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act in 2009 and the national quality strategy called for in the Accountable Care Act.2 Eighteen states are now working to develop and test new ways to improve quality of care for children, and 7 Centers of Excellence in pediatric quality measures have been recently established to improve existing measures and develop new measures for the numerous gaps that currently exist.3 This issue's articles on quality of care are an important contribution to this field, first in helping us understand the challenges and begin to address them, but also in reminding us of the current limitations in the methods used in many quality-related studies.