Closing the Quality Gap Series, Summary Report

Structured Abstract

In 2004, AHRQ launched a collection of evidence reports, Closing the Quality Gap: A Critical Analysis of Quality Improvement Strategies, to bring data to bear on quality improvement opportunities. These reports summarized the evidence on quality improvement strategies related to chronic conditions, practice areas, and cross-cutting priorities. This evidence report is part of a new series, Closing the Quality Gap: Revisiting the State of the Science. This report is an introduction to the Executive Summaries of the eight reports in the series and summarizes elements across the series for readers.

Background: The United States devotes significant resources for the provision of health care, yet quality is often elusive or lacking. In 2004, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality launched a collection of evidence reports to bring data to bear on quality improvement (QI) opportunities. This new series, Closing the Quality Gap: Revisiting the State of the Science, consists of eight reports that continue the focus on improving the quality of health care through critical assessment of relevant evidence for selected settings, interventions, and clinical conditions. This report is an introduction to the Executive Summaries of the eight reports in the series and summarizes elements across the series for readers.

Overview: The topics are effectiveness of bundled payment programs, effectiveness of the patient-centered medical home, QI strategies to address health disparities, effectiveness of medication adherence interventions, effectiveness of public reporting, prevention of healthcare-associated infections, QI measurement of outcomes for people with disabilities, and health care and palliative care for patients with advanced and serious illness. The overview describes the scope of the eight reports; describes the scope of the series by summarizing the quality levers, populations, interventions, outcomes, and other features across the reports; and discusses key messages by audience (patient/consumer/caregiver, health care professional, health care delivery organization, policymaker, and research community).

Conclusions: The series covers many important aspects of quality improvement in health care. This Summary is intended to show how topics relate and complement each other, and how together they provide a picture of the state of the science. It will help readers, as they read the Executive Summaries for the individual topics, to gain a deeper understanding of the nature and extent of quality gaps across health care, as well as the systemic changes necessary to close them.

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Closing the Quality Gap: Revisiting the State of the Science Series—A Summary

Evidence-based Practice Center: Stanford-UCSF (Operating under RAND Evidence-based Practice Center), Stanford, CA

Current as of January 2013
Internet Citation: Closing the Quality Gap Series, Summary Report: Structured Abstract. January 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/evidence-based-reports/gapsumtp.html