No longer convinced that their viewpoint on quality is the only one, different stakeholders in the health-care arena are sharing perspectives to piece together the quality picture. Although still preoccupied with the cost of health care, purchasers are concerned about value--efficiency, appropriateness, and effectiveness--as well as price. Faced with evidence of medically unnecessary procedures and unexamined medical theory, practitioners are searching for appropriateness guidelines, useful outcome measures, and methods to elicit informed patient preferences about elective surgeries. Underlying this search for reliable indicators of quality--now expanded to include patient satisfaction--is a new interest in the Japanese notion of "Kaizen" or continuous quality improvement. The end product of this ferment may determine whether good medicine drives out the bad--or vice versa.
Efficiency, Health Care Costs, Hospitals, Japan, Models, Theoretical, Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care, Patient Satisfaction, Quality Assurance, Health Care, Quality of Health Care, Treatment Outcome, United States