Outcomes research -- learning "what works" -- is vital to improving U.S. healthcare, and academic medical centers should be encouraged to perform more, said John Wennberg, director of the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences at Dartmouth College. Speaking at an Institute for Healthcare Improvement forum, Wennberg said, "We need data," especially on healthcare for black Americans. Overuse of medical care and underuse of proven treatments are forms of medical errors. One major impediment to the best healthcare is the cultural and public perception that more is always better, Wennberg said. The combination of outcomes research, scientific leadership and a focus on creating informed patient choice will help eliminate unwarranted geographic variations in care, he said. Closing the forum, institute President and Chief Executive Officer Donald Berwick called for both world-class science and "world-class action" to improve care.
Researcher calls for more outcomes studies
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