David Eddy, Opening Doors to the Future

Dec 9, 2009, 2:30 AM, Posted by Nancy Barrand

I have heard David Eddy present a half-dozen times, and each time come away with a richer appreciation of the door to the future he is opening for us. He was at the Foundation talking to staff today, and presentation stood out as being special because he started with an historical perspective of how we have defined quality of medical care over time, moving from qualitative judgment to quantitative measurement as the data and tools for modeling have improved.

And while he is somewhat modest, it is clear that David has figured prominently in that history, challenging the system to evolve as new data and methods have been developed. He gave us the concept of evidence-based medicine when we had none. He helped to create the HEDIS measures and gave us evidence-based guidelines of care for population-based health measures. Now he is giving us personalized guidelines which will be aggregated to develop new Global Outcome (GO) Scores for accountable care organizations to manage the health of their members.

It cements in my mind the importance of creating ARCHeS to give many more policymakers access to the power of the Archimedes model that David and his colleagues have developed.  I feel like I have had a glimpse of the future, and we really could have the best health care system in the world.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Pioneering Ideas blog.