Public health practice and health care delivery in the United States share a common goal: longer, healthier lives for all. Quality in health care is essential for achieving this goal and is a central focus of implementing the Affordable Care Act. However, the notion of quality in the public health system and more broadly in the multisectoral health system – public health, health care, and other partners – has received less attention. Identifying measures of quality for the healthy system is essential to the work of assessment and quality improvement, and for demonstrating accountability throughout these systems.
The IOM was asked to examine the intersection of HHS’s public health quality effort and the Leading Health Indicators (LHIs) in Healthy People 2020, the nation’s 10-year agenda for advancing toward long, healthy lives for all. The IOM committee finds that every community should use measures of quality to monitor progress on the LHIs and recommends criteria for selecting measures of quality. The recommendations in the committee’s report are designed to inform and support the development, endorsement, promotion, and use of a unified and coherent set of quality measures useful across a range of settings.