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Opinion 9.14 Quality

As professionals dedicated to promoting the well-being of patients, physicians individually and collectively share the obligation to ensure that the care patients receive is safe, effective, patient centered, timely, efficient, and equitable.

While responsibility for quality of care does not rest solely with physicians, their role is essential. Individually and collectively, physicians should actively engage in efforts to improve the quality of health care by:

(1)  Keeping current with best care practices and maintaining professional competence.

(2)  Holding themselves accountable to patients, families, and fellow health care professionals for communicating effectively and coordinating care appropriately.

(3)  Monitoring the quality of care they deliver as individual practitioners—e.g., through personal case review and critical self-reflection, peer review, and use of other quality improvement tools.

(4)  Demonstrating a commitment to develop, implement, and disseminate appropriate, well-defined quality and performance improvement measures in their daily practice.

(5)     Participating in educational, certification, and quality improvement activities that are well designed and consistent with the core values of the medical profession. (I, V, VII, VIII)

Issued November 2009 based on the report "Quality," adopted June 2009.