Measuring Health Care Quality: Does It Make a Difference?


By Emily Tiry, Staff Editor

The Commonwealth Fund recently reported that the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality's efforts to measure quality improves doctors’ care. So far, it seems that just the fact that the results are publicly available is enough to push doctors to improve, whether or not consumers actually use the information. Medicare’s Hospital Compare website is a similar attempt to improve hospital quality. There are limits to this approach, however. There is still some uncertainty about how quality should be measured, and it is unclear if the positive effects will last if consumers do not use the information. Nonetheless, I think measuring health care quality will be essential to improving our health care system.

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