The National Academy of Medicine defines health care quality as "the degree to which health care services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge."

AHRQ offers information on the National Quality Strategy, data on health care quality, information on quality measurement projects, and resources on quality.

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National Quality Strategy

The National Quality Strategy is a national effort to align public- and private-sector stakeholders to achieve better health and health care for Americans. The Strategy was developed through a transparent and collaborative process with input from a range of stakeholders. Based on this input, the National Quality Strategy established a set of three overarching aims that builds on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Triple Aim®, supported by six priorities that address the most common health concerns that Americans face. To align with the National Quality Strategy, stakeholders can use nine levers to align their core business or organizational functions to drive improvement on the aims and priorities.


  • National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Reports
    The 2016 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality shows the progress and opportunities for improving health care quality and reducing health care disparities. Chartbooks on specific topics, such as access to care, patient safety, and healthy living, provide more detailed information. In addition, downloadable slides are available for presentations.
  • Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®)
    The CAHPS surveys ask consumers and patients to report on and evaluate their experiences with health care. These surveys cover topics that are important to consumers and focus on aspects of quality that consumers are best qualified to assess, such as the communication skills of providers and ease of access to health care services.

Quality Measurement Projects

  • Pediatric Quality Measures Program (PQMP)
    The PQMP—a partnership between AHRQ and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—supports public and private partners focused on improving quality of care for the Nation's children. The PQMP was established and funded with three goals:
    • Developing a publicly available portfolio of evidence-based new and innovative pediatric quality measures across diverse topics,
    • Improving and strengthening the Child Core Set of quality measures, and
    • Contributing to improvements in the quality of care and elimination of child health care disparities.


  • AHRQuality Indicators (QIs)
    The QIs are measures of health care quality that use readily available hospital inpatient administrative data. The QIs are used to highlight potential quality concerns, identify areas that need further study and investigation, and track changes over time. The current AHRQ QI modules represent various aspects of quality: Prevention Quality Indicators, Inpatient Quality Indicators, Patient Safety Indicators, and Pediatric Quality Indicators.
  • TalkingQuality
    TalkingQuality is a comprehensive resource and guide for organizations that produce and disseminate reports to consumers on the quality of care provided by health care organizations (e.g., hospitals, health plans, medical groups, nursing homes) and individual physicians.
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