Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archive print banner

Children's Health/Women's Health

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

Experts examine quality improvement in children's health care

The current organization and financing system for children's health care can discourage health care organizations from investing in improving the quality of care for children, according to the Child Health Business Case Working Group. Denise Dougherty, Ph.D., Senior Advisor on Child Health at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is a member of the group. To assess the potential impediments to establishing a business case for improving the quality of children's health care and to identify potential solutions, the group relied on analysis of hypothetical cases that they constructed based on their experiences as leaders in State and Federal policy, health economics, and children's health care. They also reviewed the literature and performed structured policy analyses.

In the current health care system, investments in quality—while producing net economic benefit to society—do not routinely translate into improved financial performance for health care organizations. To make a better business case for improving quality in children's health care, the group recommends taking steps to create a less fragmented system of financing and delivery of health care services, expanding the emphasis on clinical research, and educating the public concerning the importance of high quality health care for children.

This approach may help redefine the scope of what is included in excellent, family-centered care. Members of the working group concluded that, in the end, the health care community may need to fall back on a shared sense of public stewardship for children's lives in order to find the will to do what it takes to improve health care quality for children.

See "Exploring the business case for improving the quality of health care for children," by the Child Health Business Case Working Group, in the July 2004 Health Affairs 23(4), pp. 159-166.

Reprints (AHRQ Publication No. 04-R062) are available from AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse.

Return to Contents
Proceed to Next Article

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care