U.S. health care is broken. Although other industries have transformed themselves using tools such as standardization of value-generating processes, performance measurement, and transparent reporting of quality, the application of these tools to health care is controversial, evoking fears of “cookbook medicine,” loss of professional autonomy, a misinformed focus on the wrong care, or a loss of individual attention and the personal touch in care delivery. We believe that public reporting of performance with regard to appropriately designed clinical standards can overcome these concerns. The application of improvement tools is not only essential to modernizing care delivery but also the key to preserving the values to which our current system aspires.
(February 4, 2010)