Publications: Health Care Quality

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Electronic Consultations Between Primary and Specialty Care Clinicians: Early Insights

October 19, 2011 - This Commonwealth Fund issue brief looks at the opportunities presented by e-consultation, an emerging approach that primary care clinicians can use to communicate with specialists about patients to improve health care quality and reduce specialty care costs.

Issue Brief

Electronic Health Records and Ambulatory Quality of Care

November 30, 2012 - Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers compared the quality of care provided by primary care physicians who used electronic medical records with those who relied instead on paper records.

In Brief

Electronic Health Records and the Reliability and Validity of Quality Measures: A Review of the Literature

September 24, 2010 - A Commonwealth Fund-supported study finds that while electronic health records present new opportunities to use data for quality measurement and improvement activities, little is known about the reliability and validity of that data.

Literature Abstract

Electronic Medical Records: Getting It Right and Going to Scale

January 1, 2004 - Electronic availability of data and knowledge has significantly reduced the lag time from creation of data and knowledge to use for intervention and treatment with corresponding improvements in outcomes. Real-time data mining from electronic health records, and the immediate application of that derived knowledge to patient care, become achievable goals.

Fund Report

Eliminating Central Line Infections and Spreading Success at High-Performing Hospitals

December 2, 2011 - This report synthesizes lessons from four hospitals that reported they did not experience any CLABSIs in their intensive care units in 2009.

Case Study

Embracing Accountability: Physician Leadership, Public Reporting, and Teamwork in the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality

June 6, 2008 - A case study of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality, a voluntary consortium of health care organizations that uses public reporting as a tool to jumpstart the learning and quality improvement process.

Fund Report

Emergency Department Operations in Top-Performing Safety-Net Hospitals

July 31, 2009 - This Commonwealth Fund report profiles five safety-net hospitals that made improvements to curb emergency department crowding, reduce long waits, and lower the number of hours spent on ambulance diversion.

Fund Report

The End of the Beginning: Patient Safety Five Years After To Err Is Human

November 29, 2004 - Five years ago, the Institute of Medicine galvanized the public and medical community with "To Err Is Human," its report on medical errors. There has been some, but not sufficient, progress in making health care safer, says Robert Wachter, M.D., in this Health Affairs article.

In the Literature

Englewood Hospital and Medical Center: Seven Consecutive Quarters Without a Central Line–Associated Bloodstream Infection

December 2, 2011 - This case study describes the strategies and factors that appear to contribute to the low incidence of CLABSIs at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.

Case Study

Enhancing Medicare's Hospital-Acquired Conditions Policy to Encompass Readmissions

July 3, 2012 - To determine the financial impact of restricting payment to hospitals for patient readmissions, this Commonwealth Fund–supported study assessed the frequency of readmissions at California hospitals that could be tied to avoidable medical complications.

In Brief

Enhancing Public Hospitals' Reporting of Data on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Care

January 30, 2007 - Emerging evidence indicates that targeted efforts to measure and improve the quality of health care may be able to reduce, or even eliminate, disparities, while improving care for all patients. A new Fund report assesses whether safety net hospitals treating large minority populations can use measures adopted by the Hospital Quality Alliance to collect quality data by patients' race and ethnicity.

Fund Report

Escape Fire: Lessons for the Future of Health Care

November 1, 2002 - In this 2002 book, Don Berwick, M.D., the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator, outlines the problems with the health care system--medical errors, confusing and inconsistent information, and a lack of personal attention and continuity in care--and then sketches an ambitious program for reform.


Establishing a Coalition to Pursue Accountable Care in the Safety Net: A Case Study of the FQHC Urban Health Network

October 8, 2013 - The Federally Qualified Health Center Urban Health Network is a coalition of 10 federally qualified health centers in the Minneapolis–St. Paul area that pursued an accountable care organization (ACO) through a Medicaid demonstration project with Minnesota. This case study explores the state context under which the ACO contract emerged, the origins of the coalition, and more.

Case Study

Ethical Physician Incentives—From Carrots and Sticks to Shared Purpose

March 18, 2013 - The Commonwealth Fund-supported authors of this study recommend using an array of financial and nonfinancial incentives—including performance rankings—to help facilitate a broad "shared-purpose orientation" embraced by all participating clinicians.

In Brief

The Ethical Review of Health Care Quality Improvement Initiatives: Findings from the Field

August 19, 2010 - The authors of this issue brief find that quality improvement initiatives are rarely reviewed by an institutional review board or another independent body charged specifically with ethical oversight.

Issue Brief