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Fact Sheet
March 2014

Measuring Health Care Quality: An Introduction

By:
Caitlin Morris,
Kim Bailey

Americans pay more for health care per person than residents of any other country. But too often, the quality of that care is substandard. Research consistently shows that there is chronic underuse, overuse, and misuse of health care services. Care is often fragmented, overly complex, and uncoordinated.

Quality Measurement Matters

We need to improve the quality of our nation’s health care, and the first step in that process is measuring the quality of care that is currently provided.

"Measuring Health Care Quality: An Introduction," (PDF) discusses the following benefits of quality measurement:

  • Preventing the overuse, underuse, and misuse of health care services and ensuring patient safety
  • Identifying what works in health care—and what doesn’t—to drive improvement
  • Holding health insurance plans and health care providers accountable for providing high-quality care
  • Measuring and addressing disparities in how care is delivered and in health outcomes
  • Helping consumers make informed choices about their care

An accompanying issue brief provides an overview of quality measures as well.