After more than two decades of national attention to quality improvement in US healthcare, significant gaps in quality remain. A fundamental problem is that current approaches to measure quality are indirect and therefore imprecise, focusing on clinical documentation of care rather than the actual delivery of care. The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has identified six domains of quality that are essential to address to improve quality: patient-centeredness, equity, timeliness, efficiency, effectiveness, and safety. In this perspective, we describe how directly observed care-a recorded audit of clinical care delivery-may address problems with current quality measurement, providing a more holistic assessment of healthcare delivery. We further show how directly observed care has the potential to improve each NAM domain of quality.
Keywords: directly observed care; healthcare quality; patient-centered care; unannounced standardized patients.
© 2022. This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply.