Brief history of quality movement in US healthcare

Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2012 Dec;5(4):265-73. doi: 10.1007/s12178-012-9137-8.


The current healthcare quality improvement infrastructure is a product of a century long experience of cumulative efforts. It began with an acknowledgement of the role of quality in healthcare, and gradually evolved to encompass the prioritization of quality improvement and the development of systems to monitor, quantify, and incentivize quality improvement in healthcare. We review the origins and the evolution of the US healthcare quality movement, identify existing initiatives specific to musculoskeletal care, outline significant challenges and opportunities, and propose recommendations for the future. Elements noted to be associated with successful healthcare quality improvement efforts include the presence of physician leadership, infrastructural support, and prioritization of healthcare quality within the culture of the organization. Issues that will require continued work include the development of a valid and reliable evidence base, accurate and replicable performance measurement and data collection methods, and development of a standard set of specialty specific performance metrics, with accurate provider attribution, risk adjustment and reporting mechanisms.