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Press Release Date: October 5, 1999
The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Veterans Health Administration will sponsor a meeting on October 12-13, 1999, at the Washington Hilton, to discuss the effect of working conditions on the quality of care provided by health care workers, and to set a research agenda to guide future studies on key aspects of this issue.
"The relationship between working conditions and the quality of care provided by doctors, nurses, therapists, technicians, and others has not been examined in a truly systematic way," said John M. Eisenberg, M.D., AHCPR's administrator. "This two-day conference will help us determine what we presently know, outline the areas where future research needs to be conducted, and ultimately identify ways to ensure that health care settings, themselves, do not stand in the way of delivering the highest quality of care possible."
Papers will be presented on four key factors affecting working conditions and their possible impact on quality of care, with panels of experts reacting to each one: staffing and organization of work, presented by Christine Kovner, Ph.D., R.N., New York University; settings of care, presented by Rosalyn Cama, FASID, Board of Directors, The Center for Health Design; organizational culture, presented by Francois Sainfort, Ph.D., the University of Wisconsin; and methods and measures, presented by Gregg Meyer, M.D., M.Sc., AHCPR. Among those people reacting to the papers presented are Bill Ivey, of the National Endowment for the Arts, and Maureen Bisognano, of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
The meeting is part of a larger effort being directed by the Quality Interagency Coordination Task Force (QuIC) to enable all Federal agencies with responsibility for health care to coordinate their activities to measure and improve quality of care. Established in response to the final report of the President's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry, the QuIC's goals are to provide patients and consumers with better information on quality of care; take advantage of key opportunities for improving clinical quality; advance the science of quality measurement; develop the health care work force; and improve information systems.
The QuIC steering committee is co-chaired by Donna E. Shalala, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and Alexis Herman, Secretary of the Department of Labor, and is comprised of representatives of each of the Federal agencies with responsibility for purchasing, providing and/or regulating health care services, and supporting research on health care quality. Dr. John Eisenberg serves as operating chairperson.
In addition to the meeting on working conditions, other QuIC initiatives underway include a new area on the www.consumer.gov Web site providing information on quality of care; the development of a compendium of all of the quality measures used by Federal agencies; improving care for people with diabetes through the adoption of measures developed through the Diabetes Quality Indicator Project; and the adoption of guidelines and quality measures for treatment of depression in active duty and retired military personnel.
Editor's Note: Members of the press are invited to attend all or part of the meeting. At the conclusion of the second day, Dr. Eisenberg will present a one-hour summation of the key findings of the conference and the priorities identified for future research.
Select to access the QuIC Fact Sheet.
For additional information, please contact AHCPR Public Affairs, (301) 427-1364.