Authors Analyze Quality Improvement in US

More groups than ever before are engaged in concerted efforts to improve healthcare quality in the U.S., according to experts at the Chicago-based Joint Commission. Writing in the April 2011 edition of Health Affairs, authors Mark R. Chassin, MD, MPP, MPH and Jerod M. Loeb, PhD credit ongoing efforts by Medicare-funded Quality Improvement Organizations, New York State’s Cardiac Surgery Reporting System, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Commonwealth Fund and other “regional collaboratives of multiple stakeholders.” The authors warn, however, that the risk of harm in healthcare may be increasing, due to the complexities surrounding new devices, procedures, technologies and pharmaceuticals. They call for more study of “high reliability” delivery systems that are able to eliminate deficiencies while remaining vigilant regarding future threats to patient safety. The Ongoing Quality Improvement Journey: Next Stop, High Reliability is available via the Health Affairs website at www.healthaffairs.org.