There is ample evidence America has a serious problem with poor quality health care and high rates of preventable medical mistakes.

Thankfully, there is no shortage of caring professionals motivated to improve care and the problems are solvable. As with any effort to improve performance, measurement is the first step to improving care and reducing medical mistakes. As I often remind clients and colleagues: you can’t fix what you can’t see.

However, measuring hospital and physician quality is complex. And too often efforts to measure quality get bogged down – perfect becomes the enemy of good and analysis becomes the enemy of action.

Quality Health Care: A Guide to Developing and Using Indicators serves as an excellent, up-to-date guide on how to design and implement an effective quality measurement program, particularly in hospitals. While paying close attention to the importance of clinically sound measurement, this guide focuses on providing practical and actionable advice. Specifically, the book provides:

1. Helpful overview on quality measurement, the increasing demands of consumers and purchasers for public disclosure of provider quality, and the information consumers find most valuable in their decision making.

2. Practical advice on how to select quality indicators, collect and organize data, and create a dashboard to monitor progress.

3. Technical guidance on how to analyze data effectively, including how and when to accept limitations and variations.

4. Cases studies on how to use quality measurement to improve both clinical and operational performance.

The author, Robert Lloyd, PhD, is executive director of performance improvement at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and a highly regarded expert in quality measurement.