Choosing quality of care measures based on the expected impact of improved care on health

Health Serv Res. 1992 Dec;27(5):619-50.


Consumers, payers, and policymakers are demanding to know more about the quality of the services they are purchasing or might purchase. The information provided, however, is often driven by data availability rather than by epidemiologic and clinical considerations. In this article, we present an approach for selecting topics for measuring technical quality of care, based on the expected impact on health of improved quality. This approach employs data or estimates on disease burden, efficacy of available treatments, and the current quality of care being provided. We use this model to select measures that could be used to measure the quality of care in health plans, but the proposed framework could also be used to select quality of care measures for other purposes or in other contexts (for example, to select measures for hospitals). Given the limited resources available for quality assessment and the policy consequences of better information on provider quality, priorities for assessment efforts should focus on those areas where better quality translates into improved health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control
  • Coronary Disease / therapy
  • Epidemiologic Methods*
  • Female
  • Health Services Research*
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Primary Prevention
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • United States / epidemiology