Although  the quality of  U.S. health care has improved over the past decade, progress has been slow – and there is still much to be done to close gaps in the quality and safety of care, as detailed in the Institute of Medicine’s 2001 report, Crossing the Quality Chasm.  Medical errors, hospital-acquired infections, and other adverse but preventable events and inefficiencies continue to harm  patients and drive up health care costs unnecessarily.

In a briefing on Thursday, April 7, Health Affairs will convene national health leaders and policy experts to discuss the current state of quality in the U.S. health care system; the latest data on costs; challenges in measuring quality and quality improvement; successful models for improving quality and safety; and where we go from here.  The briefing coincides with the release of the journal’s April 2011 issue.

WHEN: Thursday, April 7, 2011, 8:30 a.m. — 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: Capital Hilton Hotel, 1001 16th Street NW, corner of K Street, Washington, DC

RSVP: RSVP for this event online.

TWITTER: Health Affairs will Tweet live from the briefing at #HA_Quality.

Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Susan Dentzer will moderate the briefing. Speakers will include:

  • Carolyn M. Clancy, Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Anne F. Weiss, Team Director and Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Mark R. Chassin, President, The Joint Commission
  • Peter J. Pronovost, Professor, Departments of Anesthesiology/Critical Care Medicine and Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Floyd J. Fowler, Senior Scientific Advisor, Foundation for  Informed Medical Decision Making
  • Elizabeth A. McGlynn, Director, Center for Effectiveness and Safety Research, Kaiser Permanente
  • Rachel M. Werner, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • David C. Classen, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Utah
  • Pamela Villarreal, Senior Policy Analyst, National Center for Policy Analysis
  • George A. Cioffi, Chief Medical Officer, Legacy Health
  • David Pryor, Chief Medical Officer, Ascension Health
  • Jill Van Den Bos, Consultant, Milliman
  • Amal Trivedi, Research Investigator, Providence VA Medical Center
  • Gregory S. Ogrinc, Associate Professor of Community and Family Medicine and of Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School
  • Philip Mehler, Chief Medical Officer, Denver Health, and Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado.

Among the topics to be addressed:

  • Is the quality of our health care system, by some metrics at least, even worse than we previously thought?
  • What are the actual costs of medical errors?  The social costs?
  • How are health care systems  such as  Ascension Health, Legacy Health, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs achieving significant quality improvements while cutting health care costs?
  • What changes are needed in medical education to ensure continued quality improvement in future health care delivery?
  • How can patients be engaged more actively in assuring the quality of health care?