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ACP-ASIM Pressroom

Key Physician Groups Respond to IOM Quality Report

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM), American College of Surgeons (ACS), and American Medical Association (AMA) - representing more than half a million physicians nationwide - support the call to action by the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) report "Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century" for continued improvement in the healthcare system, with a focus on system wide improvements.

[A summary of ACP-ASIM's Patient Safety/Quality of Care Related Activities is now available.]

"The IOM report validates what physicians already know: as good as our healthcare system is, more needs to be done to improve quality," said E. Ratcliffe Anderson, MD, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the AMA. "The medical profession has a long and proud record of supporting the highest quality of care through continuous improvements in clinical education, practice parameters, evidence-based medicine, accreditation, research and advocacy. Our efforts have led to the widespread acceptance of evidence-based medicine as essential to quality care."

The Federal government plays an important role in ensuring the continuation of improvements in the quality of healthcare.

"Our organizations call on Congress to enact legislation to make it possible for physicians to identify, diagnose, report and correct potential system problems that undermine quality-with assurances that they will not be penalized for doing the right thing by identifying and reporting such problems," stated Walter J. McDonald, MD, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the ACP-ASIM. "Further, we call on President Bush and Congress to include sufficient funding to support efforts by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to fund research on 'best practices' to improve quality and to provide a vital link between healthcare professionals, their patients and biomedical research findings."

Physicians have long supported changes in the healthcare delivery system that will lead to improved quality and encourage all stakeholders to commit the necessary resources to enact those changes.

"Our organizations are committed to learn about issues relating to quality and to develop solutions addressing them. For example, the AAFP's Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies and the AAFP's practice-based research network are studying the nature of errors in primary care to determine how to improve quality in the medical care setting accessed by most people," said Douglas E. Henley, MD, executive vice president of the AAFP.

"Today, our organizations pledge our continued leadership, commitment and determination to promote public policies and voluntary actions by the healthcare community that have one single overriding objective: to make essential improvements in healthcare quality a reality," concluded Thomas Russell, MD, executive director of the ACS.

Additional information on many of the medical profession's quality of care initiatives may be accessed at http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/article/1751-3966.html. For additional information on what our organizations are doing to improve quality, please contact:

Maureen Maxwell (AAFP) 202 232-9033
Brenda Craine (AMA) 202 789-7447
Sally Garneski (ACS) 312 202-5409

Page updated: 11-04-03

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