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Quality of care in the United States and elsewhere consistently fails to meet established standards. These failures subject patients to premature death and needless suffering. Yet, unlike the experience with other threats to life (tire failures or airplane rudders), public and private policymakers have been unable to maintain sufficient interest in identifying and solving problems with quality to change the way in which care is delivered. The authors discuss why it is hard to keep quality on the policy agenda and suggest short-term steps that are necessary if quality is to improve here and in the rest of the world.

Originally published in: Health Affairs, v. 20, no. 3, May/June 2001, pp. 82-90.

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