There are two audiences for a new book on clinical quality improvement, aptly titled The Healthcare Quality Book: Vision, Strategy and Tools.
Students in graduate-level programs of healthcare and public health administration are one target group, while students of quality who also happen to be chief executive officers, chief medical officers or chief medical information officers are another, according to Scott Ransom, D.O., past president of the American College of Physician Executives and executive director of the program for healthcare improvement and leadership development at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor.
Ransom is co-editor of the 495-page tour of the quality realm. Fellow editors are David Nash, M.D., professor of health policy and medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia; and Maulik Joshi, president and CEO of Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care in Easton, Md., a not-for-profit quality improvement organization, and former vice president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Boston.
"We identified a bunch of other books and articles looking at quality from a bunch of perspectives, but we didn't see one book in one source, with references, that had it all," Ransom said.
Thus, the strength of The Healthcare Quality Book is in its breadth -- not its depth -- by design, he said. None of the 19 chapters are definitive renderings on their subjects. "There is probably a book written about every topic in this book," Ransom said, but "we probably covered 90% plus of the important material in one book."
The chapters are written by a veritable who's who of the healthcare quality movement in the U.S., "and every name is probably the lead person in that area," Ransom said.
For example, Donald Berwick, M.D., a member of the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, "probably the godfather of quality," according to Ransom, with Joshi penned the first chapter, "Healthcare Quality and the Patient," which begins with characteristically Berwickian bluntness.
"Quality in the U.S. healthcare system is not what it should be," they wrote. "We have known this to be true for years based on personal stories and anecdotes." But beyond "story telling of terrible experiences," the authors review and encapsulate the primary reports and case studies documenting "serious and widespread" problems, including the IOM's own work in 1999 that estimated up to 98,000 people per year die from preventable medical errors.
Nash, who directs the advanced quality management-training program for the ACPE, co-authored a chapter on physician profiling; Ransom and colleagues wrote another chapter on "Implementing Quality as a Core Organizational Strategy." Troyan Brennan, M.D., a professor of law and public health in the Department of Health Policy Management at Harvard University, and friends handle the mix of quality, the law and medical malpractice.
The book is published by Health Administration Press, Chicago, a division of the American College of Healthcare Executives. The price is $77.