tember 9, 1999, with health professionals active in their professional societies and associations through support from The Commonwealth Fund. This meeting was attended by 14 people representing medicine, nursing, and pharmacy. This open discussion covered issues related to the extent to which the health and medical community is aware of quality and safety concerns, specific actions that professional societies and groups can take to improve patient safety, and barriers that impede these actions from moving forward.
This quality initiative represents a continuing IOM interest in quality of health care. Several other quality-of-care projects have been undertaken in recent years.
The Special Initiative on Health Care Quality was created in 1996 to examine how to maintain and improve the health and well-being of the population and the quality of care that the public receives as the health care system restructures. This special initiative is evaluating quality assessment and improvement tools and their uses, and promoting the application of appropriate tools at all levels of health care, in all organizations, for the entire population. The initiative will also inform consumers, policy makers, providers, and others of key opportunities and obstacles to achieving better health outcomes for individuals and populations, and will provide them with information and tools to enable them to make better decisions and choices about health and health care.
The National Roundtable on Health Care Quality was created to examine continual changes in health care and the implications of these changes for the quality of health and health care in this nation. The Roundtable convened nationally prominent representatives of the private and public sectors (regional, state, and federal); academia; patients; and the health media to analyze unfolding issues concerning health care quality. This initiative produced three reports: The Urgent Need to Improve Health Care Quality, Mea-