David R. Nerenz, PhD
Nerenz DR. Measuring Plans and Measuring Health. Ann Intern Med. 1997;127:751. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-127-8_Part_2-199710151-00062
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1997;127(8_Part_2):751.
Nearly 10 years ago, Ellwood challenged us to become part of the “third revolution”  in health care: an approach he called “outcomes management” . Outcomes management involves a commitment to measuring health status outcomes, to pooling information among providers to facilitate learning about what works, and accountability.
The challenge has not yet been met. We do measure things but generally not outcomes. We combine and share information, but this information is generally about processes, algorithms, and “best practices” and not necessarily about outcomes. We are accountable to purchasers, communities, and individual patients but often in terms of costs, access, and satisfaction rather than clinical outcomes. The four articles in this section offer clues to the reasons Ellwood's vision of outcomes management has not yet become reality.
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