If you're not impressed by the Kaiser Foundation, well healthcare colleagues: you should be. The breadth and scope of thought on healthcare quality coming out of the Kaiser foundation is routinely impressive. This summary (a joint product of the Peterson Center & The Kaiser Foundation), although almost a year old, still reads as fresh on the nature of US healthcare quality metrics. Take a look at what reads like a current-state summary of US healthcare metrics designed to indicate the state of our quality.
The situation is much less clear when it comes to measuring the effectiveness and quality of the healthcare people receive. The healthcare system is vast, with many products — successful diagnoses and treatments, pain management, and delivery of preventive services — but there is no clear way to tally up the gains. Scores of provider quality measures have been developed by accreditation organizations, regulators, payers, and healthcare providers themselves to measure specific areas of practice and performance. Indeed, several recent reports...addressing quality measurement have emphasized the burdens associated with reporting a large number of current measures and the sometimes inconsistent requirements for similar measures. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation/Commonwealth Fund survey found that half of primary care physicians say the proliferation of quality measures to assess their performance has had a negative effect on quality of care.