The Performance Of The United States Health Care System

1167 Words Aug 21st, 2015 5 Pages
The performance of the United States health care system on both cost and quality has long been a subject of controversy with some arguing that it’s the best in the world, but others, increasingly well-armed with international comparisons, making the case that health care in the US is consistently underperforming, particularly considering the relative level of health care expenditures. Perhaps less arguable is the fact that we have not fully realized the hope that a common quality measurement and reporting system would galvanize and accelerate broad improvement, both at the level of institutions as well as health systems. There has been notable progress in a limited range of outcomes, such as cardiovascular mortality and central …show more content…
Though faced with more data and opportunities to improve, most healthcare professionals do not understand how to engage in quality improvement. As we gear up for efforts focused on healthcare transformation and alternative payment models, the uneven application of scientific improvement methods will prove problematic.
Though there is clear agreement that measurement is foundational to systemwide health care improvement, there is still an incomplete array of well-tested, practical measures to inform rigorous improvement efforts. Even when the best available measures and methods are deployed, the sheer number of improvement goals and measures may overwhelm the capacity of frontline staff to implement them and sap their energy to improve. Perhaps we should not be surprised that sustained and widespread improvements remain elusive. To achieve the vision of a reliably improving and learning health system, greater linkage is needed between measurement and efforts to drive meaningful improvement.
Sound improvement methods critical to achieving and sustaining better outcomes are not in widespread use and a number of barriers to effective adoption remain. Quality improvement projects often are not well designed, well executed, or evaluated with rigor; the inevitable lack of significant improvement or credible results feeds greater skepticism. The US health care workforce at all levels has not received
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