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- Continuous Quality Improvement
Smith M, Saunders R, Stuckhardt L, McGinnis JM, eds. Committee on the Learning Health Care System in America, Institute of Medicine. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2012. ISBN: 9780309260732.
This Institute of Medicine (IOM) report presents evidence of poor quality care and significant waste (to the tune of an estimated $750 billion per year) in the American health care system. It emphasizes the importance of continuous learning—not only from high performing health care systems but also from industries such as manufacturing, banking, and aviation—and highlights the role of mobile technologies and electronic health records in continuously improving health care.
Journal Article > Commentary
Berwick DM. N Engl J Med. 1989;320:53-56.
Two approaches to improving quality in health care are illustrated in this article. The first, called quality by inspection, is a system based on the belief that quality is best achieved by removing “bad apples.” The second, based on the theory of continuous improvement, calls for understanding and revision of the production process rather than placing blame on the individual. Berwick calls on the health care leaders to begin applying the continuous improvement model in medicine. He outlines a number of critical steps for implementation, including committing resources, organizing within institutions, using modern technical tools, encouraging dialogue between consumers and suppliers in the industry, and re-establishing trust in providers. He also calls for individual physicians to join in the movement, maintaining that these principles apply to individuals and small systems alike.