Background Paper

Health Care Quality: From Data to Accountability
February 1998


Mary Darby, Consultant


This paper discussed the evolution of quality measurement and reporting activities as well as efforts to develop accountability for delivering high-quality care. It examined (a) initiatives in the professional arena, such as accreditation and performance measurement by independent accrediting bodies; (b) activities of market proponents, who have preferred to concentrate on making data available to purchasers and consumers that would enable them to choose high- quality plans and providers; and (c) attempts by the public sector to secure quality through regulation and oversight. An exploration of the successes, limitations, overlaps, and gaps in quality assurance initiatives, the paper was published to assist policymakers in assessing how best to invest in such efforts.

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