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Intro to Quality – Part 1: It’s a STEEEP Road Ahead


In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a staggering article called “To Err is Human,” which indicated that preventable medical errors caused between 44,000 and 98,000 deaths each year in U.S. hospitals. In addition to taking their toll on the trust between patients, families, and providers, the errors amount to a national annual expense that was, at the time, estimated to be between $17 billion and $29 billion.

Two years later, the IOM released a follow-up article entitled “Crossing the Quality Chasm” calling for a new healthcare system that works toward eliminating preventable errors. In the article, the IOM outlined 10 rules of redesign for health system. It also defined six elements of quality, using STEEEP as the acronym for care that is Safe, Timely, Effective, Efficient, Equitable, and Patient-Centered. Since then, these elements have been used as the golden pillars of an effective Quality program.

Over the next six mmAccess articles, we’ll briefly review what each of the six dimensions looks like in your practice. They are an invaluable tool for ensuring you’re delivering safe, high quality care to your patients.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in reading brief summaries of either of the articles above, you can find them here:

To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System

Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century