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Between evidence-based practice and total quality management: the implementation of cost-effective care

RICHARD GROL
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/intqhc/12.4.297 297-304 First published online: 1 August 2000

Abstract

There is an increasing number of studies showing that patients often do not receive necessary care or receive care that is not needed, inefficient or even damaging. There is no lack of ideas and approaches on how to improve practice. In the last decades we have seen the rise of fascinating models for quality improvement, for instance Evidence Based Medicine, Total Quality Management and Patient Partnership. These models are interesting and potentially very valuable in improving patient care. However, the evidence for their (cost-) effectiveness is very limited. The challenge for the years to come is to design strategies for quality improvement that integrate elements from the different models and to set the step from anecdotal evidence for these strategies to systematic evaluation in order to distinguish between faith and fact in the field of improving care.