From 1998 to 1999, researchers from The Lewin Group, a health care consulting firm based in Falls Church, Va., assessed the strategies that medical groups, managed care organizations and other health care organizations use to improve the quality of their clinical care.
They also examined the major barriers that prevent these organizations from improving clinical care and identified strategies to surmount these barriers.
Project staff concluded that, for substantial quality improvement to occur, health care organizations must:
- Align operations management with clinical care processes as part of the overall business strategy.
- Demonstrate effective leadership in driving and managing operational and cultural change.
- Use population-based and disease management approaches to achieve broad quality improvements and substantial reductions in cost.
- Use information technology to understand institutional and medical group performance, support rapid cycle improvements, and link clinical care and finances.
- Involve and educate health care purchasers and consumers about quality as a valuable aspect of overall system performance.