Authors: McNamara P, Caldwell B, Fraser I, et al.
Title: New contributions from the field of health services research
Publication: Med Care Res Rev 57(Suppl 2):5-8.
Abstract: Recent publication and wide press coverage of an Institute of Medicine (IOM) study documenting the extent and nature of patient safety problems broadened public understanding of a fundamental and discouraging finding from the field of health services research—the quality of care delivered in the United States varies greatly and cannot be presumed. The IOM report underscores another finding from health services research that offers some guidance for those seeking to improve quality: the safety and quality of patient care can be no better than the system within which it occurs. Improvements in quality require a comprehensive and purposive set of system solutions based on scientific evidence about what works and what doesn't. This introductory article summarizes seven articles included in a special supplement of Med Care Res Rev, which were drawn from centerpiece presentations at two recent national meetings of health plans and health services researchers (Building Bridges 1999, 2000). The family of timely and actionable articles provides insights on organizational and institutional approaches to quality, and inform our future research agenda related to quality by identifying evidence gaps, offering design suggestions, and implicitly identifying research priorities.
Topics: Managed Care, Public Policy, Research Agenda.
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