Former RAND Researcher Elizabeth McGlynn Receives AcademyHealth's Distinguished Investigator Award


Jun 25, 2012

A trophy on top of two books

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Former RAND researcher Elizabeth McGlynn has been honored with AcademyHealth's 2012 Distinguished Investigator Award.

McGlynn's career as a medical researcher has been impactful and extraordinarily prolific. Her nearly 100 articles have painstakingly documented problems regarding health care quality, culminating in a 2003 publication in the New England Journal of Medicine that provided a clinically detailed report card on quality of care in the U.S.—the first such report produced anywhere.

This landmark study was the result of nearly 20 years of work and $20 million raised from multiple sources. McGlynn's startling findings about quality of care in America (e.g. adults receive only half of the recommended preventive care as well as care for acute and chronic conditions) have become conventional wisdom among the health policy and provider communities.

McGlynn's work was adapted for the U.K. and has become the basis of an enormously significant shift in the country's health care delivery. U.K. general practitioners signed a contract with the government that uses a modification of McGlynn's methods and indicators as the basis for their pay-for-performance system, marking the first time that a clinically detailed system to measure quality of care has been used as the goal in reforming a health care system.

McGlynn is a graduate of Pardee RAND Graduate School and a former associate director of RAND Health. When at RAND, she also held the Corporate Chair in Health Care Quality. McGlynn serves or has served on the editorial boards of leading health services research journals, including Milbank Quarterly, Health Services Research, and Health Academy Press. She is currently Director of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness & Safety Research.

— Pete Wilmoth