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Quality Improvement: Join the Club

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, December 14, 2010

There are a number of individuals and organizations pushing to improve healthcare quality through the use of technology and other methods. The Leapfrog Group is one such organization—a consortium of healthcare purchasers that uses survey data and public reporting on quality measures to help consumers and employers compare hospitals' safety, quality, and efficiency. It has also called for better utilization of clinical technology such as EHRs and computerized physician order entry.

This year, HealthLeaders Media named Leapfrog's CEO, Leah Binder, as one of the 20 people who are making healthcare better. In last week's column I wrote about another person on the list who ties technology to quality improvement: David Blumenthal, MD, the national coordinator for health information technology.

Both are trying to improve healthcare quality through technology, but they have something else in common, too. They take the position that it can't be done by wagging fingers and issuing edicts. They say that change will only come when the industry as a whole—including providers, patients, family members, the government, and watchdog groups like Leapfrog—work together.

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