Quality of Medical Care Assessment Using Outcome Measures

Executive Summary

by Robert H. Brook, Allyson Ross Davies

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Last in a series of three volumes, this report briefly states the conclusions and recommendations resulting from the study. The approach used during this research was successful; for each of the eight disease conditions or surgical procedures considered, expert panels were able to reach consensus and to develop outcome criteria and standards. Extensive background work by the project staff to identify issues, including lengthy literature reviews on each topic, was a major reason for this success. Recommendations are made for further research to develop explicit, disease-specific process criteria and standards for each of the eight conditions, and for a descriptive quality assessment study based on these standards to test the reliability, validity, and feasibility of the standards and to determine the cost of such studies. Additional recommendations concern the need for experimental studies to determine whether alterations in the quality of care provided actually improve health outcomes, and the additional ways in which outcome information can be used in developing policy and monitoring of day-to-day care processes.

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