Assuring the Quality of Medical Care: The Impact of Outcome Assessment and Practice Standards


Two quality assurance technologies have emerged that may alleviate some of the problems associated with establishing causation and fault: severity-adjusted out- come assessment and practice guidelines or standards. The first is a data-gathering and processing system that attempts to isolate and measure the impact of the health care the patient receives on the patient's health status. The second is a documentation of professional consensus on what constitutes appropriate care. This article examines these technologies in terms of their usefulness in establishing causation and fault, and explores how the existing quality assurance system might be changed to take advantage of their capabilities.


Medical Care

Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

Law, Medicine and Health Care

Publication Information

18 Law, Medicine and Health Care 368 (1991)

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COinS Maxwell J. Mehlman Faculty Bio