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Healthcare quality is more than audit results

Fred N. Pelzman, M.D., the New York writer and internist, writes in MedPage Today:

“The Institute of Medicine’s report ‘Vital Signs: Core Metrics for Health and Healthcare Progress’ from the Committee on Core Metrics for Better Health at Lower Cost, attempts to define such a set of metrics we need to measure to ensure that we are taking the best care of each individual patient, each group of patients, and each population that we are providing care for.”


But, he warns, “All of these checkboxes, audits, database reviews, lead, in more cases than not, to us paying lip service, checking a box, testifying that we have reconciled meds or counseled a patient on healthy lifestyles, come up with a plan for weight loss, ensured that they will definitely take their medicines. Quality is more than audit results and patient satisfaction scores.

“We risk catering our care to the measured outcome, rather than to true quality and what is best for patients….

“As we build up patient-centered medical homes, Accountable Care Organizations, and other models of care, we need to continuously ensure that we are not being overwhelmed with mindless tasks that add no benefit to our patients, that by default cause us to click a box to get through our day’s work….”



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