Document Type


Publication Date

February 2004


This article has been peer-reviewed and published in Nursing Outlook vol. 52, pp. 6-10, February 2004, (Nursing Outlook homepage) Copyright is retained by Elsevier, Inc. This copy is the author's final draft, post-comments, as submitted for publication.


Concern over the quality of health care is a recurring topic in the United States. A “state of the science” invitational conference on quality health care, titled “Measuring and Improving Health Care Quality, Towards Meaningful Solutions To Pressing Problems, Nursing’s Contribution to the State of the Science” was held April 18–20, 2002 in Philadelphia at the Annenberg Center for Public Policy, University of Pennsylvania. This conference stemmed from the work of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Expert Panel on Quality Health Care and had its genesis in June 1996 during the AAN Expert Panel on Quality’s Conference titled, “Outcome Measures and Care Delivery Systems.” This conference was also responsive to recent reports published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and others, which have concluded that quality problems can lead to poorer health and that widespread quality problems exist throughout American medicine.

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