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Changing health care quality paradigms: the rise of clinical guidelines and quality measures in American medicine

Nigam, A. (2012). Changing health care quality paradigms: the rise of clinical guidelines and quality measures in American medicine. Social Science & Medicine, 75(11), pp. 1933-1937. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.07.038


Clinical guidelines and quality measures are important new paradigms for conceptualizing and managing quality in the United States. Researchers have proposed that professional elites-including members of academic medicine-were an important cause of the shift to guidelines and measures. This paper draws on content analysis of abstracts focused on quality in major American medical journals between 1975 and 2009 to empirically assess whether and how paradigms for managing quality changed in academic medicine. The content analysis shows that guidelines- and measures-based approaches to quality increased in prominence. Individual expertise-based approaches to quality, however, remain important. Concurrent with changing paradigms in academic medicine, there was a reorientation of policy toward increased use of guidelines and measures the late 1980s and early 1990s in the United States. This policy reorientation was informed by earlier work by medical researchers proposing new approaches to quality. The policy reorientation was followed by an increase in the prominence of guidelines and measures in medical research.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2012, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Publisher Keywords: United States; Clinical guidelines; Quality measures; Health care quality; Content analysis; Medical profession
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

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