While medical and technological advances continue to shape and advance health care, there has been growing emphasis on translating these advances into improvement in overall health care quality outcomes in the United States. Innovators such as Abraham Flexner and Ernest Codman engaged in rigorous reviews of systems and patient outcomes igniting wider spread interest in quality improvement in health care. Codman's efforts even contributed to the founding of the American College of Surgeons. This society catalyzed a quality improvement initiative across the United States and the formation of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals. Since that time, those such as Avedis Donabedian and the Institute of Medicine have worked to structure the process of improving both the quality and delivery of health care. Significant advances include the defining of minimum standards for hospital accreditation, 7 pillars of quality in medicine, and the process by which quality in medicine is evaluated. All of these factors have affected current practice more each day. In a field such as spinal surgery, cost and quality measures are continually emphasized and led to large outcome databases to better evaluate outcomes in complex, heterogeneous populations. Going forward, these databases will be instrumental in developing practice patterns and improving spinal surgery outcomes.
Hines, Kevin; Mouchtouris, Nikolaos; Knightly, John J; and Harrop, James, "A Brief History of Quality Improvement in Health Care and Spinal Surgery." (2020). Department of Neurosurgery Faculty Papers. Paper 117.
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