Quality Matters Archive

Quality Matters reported on emerging models and trends in health care delivery reform and interviews with leaders in the field. Please read its successor, Transforming Care.

  • August/September 2013 Issue
In Focus: Learning Health Care Systems

Government agencies, health care systems, and private companies are using data drawn from electronic medical records and administrative claims to advance medical knowledge. The tools they're developing are helping to monitor the safety and effectiveness of drugs already on the market, predict an individual's risk of developing different diseases, and identify those patients most likely to benefit from a given intervention.

Q&A: Using Machine Learning to Sort Through Treatment Options

Watson, the IBM computer system that famously beat two human contestants on Jeopardy!, can understand the nuances of English well enough to discern the meaning of "a house could burn up as it burns down." It is also capable of finding meaning in information drawn from medical journals, books, blogs, and tweets as well as medical records and case reports. Quality Matters spoke to Stephen Gold, vice president of IBM Watson Solutions, about Watson's potential to help physicians make diagnoses and explore treatment options.

News Briefs

A new map tracks the number of residents in each state expected to benefit from the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies; the American Medical Association and Joint Commission suggest ways to reduce overuse of five common medical treatments; a new report looks beyond "carrots and sticks" for patient and provider incentives; and more.

Publications of Note

Selected publications from the professional literature focus on the impact of Wisconsin's Medicaid expansion on the number of outpatient visits and hospitalizations; physicians' views of their responsibility to reduce health care costs; the link between patient engagement and patient experiences; and more.

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