Continuous quality improvement. Concepts and applications for physician care

JAMA. 1991 Oct 2;266(13):1817-23. doi: 10.1001/jama.266.13.1817.


There has been a growing interest by health care leaders in the continuous quality improvement method of quality management. This method uses measurements of quality "indicators" to initiate and drive organizational changes in a never-ending cycle of continuous improvement. Many discussions of the continuous quality improvement method have emphasized the organizational and attitudinal changes necessary to fully implement the model while deemphasizing the uses of measures of quality to guide improvement. In this article, we emphasize the concepts behind the measurement of quality that underline the continuous quality improvement model and give examples of how these concepts can be immediately applied to guide improvement in the quality of physician care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Hospital Administration / standards*
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / education
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / standards*
  • Methods
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data
  • Problem Solving
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Systems Analysis