If You Can't Measure Performance, Can You Improve It?

Commentary

If You Can't Measure Performance, Can You Improve It?

February 16, 2016

Abstract

This JAMA Forum commentary corrects a ubiquitous misquote attributed to management guru W. Edwards Deming, who actually said, “It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Yet, the infatuation with performance measurement as essential for improvement has become widespread. Robert Berenson believes that although public reporting of performance in health care has led to many improvements, we lack readily available measures to assess performance in most clinical areas. Berenson discusses Congress's unrealistic reliance on performance measurement and pay-for-performance in physician payment reforms as part of the recently enacted Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act and suggests alternatives.

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Research Area: 

Centers

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