Forum Session

Authenticating Healthcare Quality: Information and Accountability
March 6, 1998


Lisa Sprague, MBA


This Forum session was designed as an overview of the broad questions of health care quality, how it could and should measured, and who should be held accountable. Speakers noted that terminology around this topic tended to be imprecise; for example, many of the quality provisions included in proposed legislation were really matters of access that had nothing to do with clinical decisions or treatment. They reviewed the major quality efforts under way by organizations such as the Foundation for Accountability, the National Committee for Quality Assurance, and the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. Physician commitment and willingness to change practice patterns were identified as central issues in quality improvement. The question for all concerned with this process, it was suggested, should be, How can we empower patients while preserving the patient- physician relationship?


Michael L. Millenson, Senior Analyst, Health Care and Group Benefits Practice, William M. Mercer, Inc.; George D. Lundberg, MD, Editor, Journal of the American Medical Association

Related Materials

More information available in the related publication, "Health Care Quality: From Data to Accountability" (Background Paper, February 1998).

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