Wednesday, May 6, 2009

AHRQ releases the 2008 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports

AHRQ. May 6th, 2009
2008 National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Reports
For the sixth year in a row, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has produced the National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and the National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR). These reports measure trends in effectiveness of care, patient safety, timeliness of care, patient centeredness, and efficiency of care. The reports present, in chart form, the latest available findings on quality of and access to health care.

The National Healthcare Quality Report tracks the health care system through quality measures, such as the percentage of heart attack patients who received recommended care when they reached the hospital or the percentage of children who received recommended vaccinations. The National Healthcare Disparities Report summarizes health care quality and access among various racial, ethnic, and income groups and other priority populations, such as children and older adults.

So are we "Crossing the Quality Chasm?"

Some highlights from the reports:

• Healthcare is suboptimal and continues to improve at a slow pace.

• Reporting of hospital quality is leading improvement but safety is lagging.

• Health care quality measurement is evolving, but much work remains.

• Disparities persist in health care quality and access.

• Magnitude and patterns are different within subpopulations.

• Some disparities exist across multiple priority populations.

Although we are seeing some gains in improvement, we are challenged to sustain our gains and accelerate our efforts. The reports draw on lessons learned from other sectors about improvement.

Some common themes presented:

Constancy of purpose is essential
There is no quick fix, we must remain disciplined in our approach with continued vigilance

• We must form Partnerships
Simultaneous efforts are required by multiple stakeholders

• Measurement is vital to improvement
Focus on quality, focus on results

To learn more the reports can be found here:

National Healthcare Quality Report 2008

National Healthcare Disparities Report 2008

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