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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Health expert calls for care quality

Health expert calls for care quality

Carolyn Clancy has an ambitious goal: she wants to improve health-care quality and reduce disparities in care associated with race, ethnicity, gender and education.

Speaking at Drachman Hall yesterday, Clancy, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, spoke on what the 20-year-old government funded agency’s goals and programs are to improve the overall state of health care in the United States.

Among the topics, Clancy said that health-care quality and patient safety are a major research interest. She stated a large part of this would be to have systems that are more responsive to patients, with doctors looking retroactively at past trends to improve health care for the future. 

“”We mean well, but our systems are really all about us … and we can do a whole lot better,”” Clancy said.

Clancy also dove into the topic of disparity in care for minorities, which she said comes at a personal and societal price. She said the agency’s goal is to care about all individual patients, but went on to add that data suggests health care is not equal for Native American or Latino communities in comparison to white communities.

Clancy, who stated that the agency received $300 million as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or federal stimulus act, said there has been a long-term commitment to bridging the gap between research and practice, and that there has been a conscious effort to include all populations in equal medical care.

Clancy also delved into a state report for Arizona that highlights the strong and weak areas of Arizona medicine. She said Arizona is “”squarely in the average range”” but also added that even the top-tier states have areas that could use improvement. 

Clancy said that Arizona and other states can work on three overarching themes to improve care: transparency, payment reform and provider-based redesign to aid in quality improvement.

“”We’ll know it’s patient centered when people can get care when they need it,”” Clancy said.

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