What are common ways to measure the benefits of information technology as they relate to quality initiatives in health care?
There are many, including those outside of medicine, who are clamoring for improvement in patient safety and who
are demanding an explicit measurement of individual and system quality measures. [ This includes the public, payers,
and certainly the government. Considerable emphasis on individual physician performance is being created by the
Maintenance of Certi?cation movement, as well as
Maintenance of Licensure. The accreditors, certi?ers, and educators
are all emphasizing quality measurement. At the same time physicians are concerned about any measurement of
cost without accompanying quality of care measures. Therefore, there are tremendous pressures and expectations to
accurately measure individual physician (or a system of care) performance.
There is, however and most importantly, the perspective of the profession, which drives us in the same direction and
should (and eventually must be) the primary compelling force in medicine’s commitment to quality measurement and
performance assessment. In the document “Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium: A Physician Charter”
(created by internal medicine and adopted by numerous medical specialties both in the United States and around the
world) the statement is made that “professionalism is the basis of medicine’s contract with society.” The document
contains three fundamental principles and ten professional responsibilities which describe the contract with society by
The fundamental principles are: 1) primacy of patient welfare; 2) patient autonomy; and 3) social justice and they
are self-explanatory. The ten professional responsibilities all touch on aspects of quality of care, with ?ve speci?cally
addressing the responsibility of physicians to deal with quality of care. ]
There are no new answers.