October 2000 MedBytes: Quality in Health Care

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Quality is the focus of October's MedBytes, and you'll find sites to help you improve yours.

American Medical Association
The American Medical Association's Division of Clinical Quality Improvement is involved in a number of activities designed to foster physician-level clinical quality improvement efforts. For more information about activities in this area, go to http://www.ama-assn.org.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Go to www.ismp.org for safe medication practice news (including important hazard warnings), error reporting, drug product safety information results, medication safety self-assessment, and links to outside information.

Annals of Internal Medicine
To see the issue of Annals of Internal Medicine that focuses on quality information, including links to articles such as "Assessing Quality Using Administrative Data, visit http://www.annals.org/. You'll also find links to quality measurement and improvement, research, databases, and statistical methods, as well as an area highlighting what to expect in the future.

Institute for Medical Quality
The Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of care provided to patients across the continuum of health care. IMQ offers a wide range of educational, accreditation, consultation, and certification programs. Its Web site, www.imq.org, gives links to its different programs, such as ambulatory, corrections and detentions survey, peer review consultation, and medical staff consultation and quality education.

American Productivity and Quality Center
This site, www.apqc.org , gives an overview of how the organization can help improve the quality of your practice. You'll find links to membership, best practices, products and services, free resources, and more. The site also provides a link to its online bookstore, full of publications aimed at quality improvement.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Go to www.ahcpr.gov for clinical information, information for consumers and patients, and data and surveys. The site gives research findings and holds links to quality assessment tools.

Texas Medical Association
Visit TMA's Web site and check out its quality improvement area. Take TMA's Patient Satisfaction Survey and use it as a tool to gauge your patients' happiness with your work. You'll also find links to general principles for patient safety reporting and a new patient safety special section that covers the after-effects of the December 1999 Institute of Medicine report, in which annual deaths caused by medical errors were estimated at 44,000 to 98,000. Take a patient safety survey and review the TMA statement on medical errors and patient safety. Teamwork.

MedBytes is a quick look at new, or newly discovered, Web sites of interest to Texas physicians. The column also highlights features of the TMA Web site. If you know of some interesting medical sites or have questions about how to use the TMA Web site, email Erin Prather . Publication of information about Web sites in this column is not to be considered an endorsement or approval by the Texas Medical Association of the sites or sponsors, or of any products or services involved.  

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