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Using a Healthcare Matrix to Assess Patient Care in Terms of Aims for Improvement and Core Competencies

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Background: In 2001, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended six Aims for Improvement; the dimensions of quality describe a health care system that is safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient centered. In 1999, the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) adopted six core competencies that physicians in training must master if they are to provide quality care. A Healthcare Matrix was developed that links the IOM aims for improvement and the six ACGME Core Competencies. The matrix provides a blueprint to help residents to learn the core competencies in patient care, and to help faculty to link mastery of the competencies with improvement in quality of care.

Healthcare Matrix: The Healthcare Matrix is a conceptual framework that projects an episode of care as an interaction between quality outcomes and the skills, knowledge, and attitudes (core competencies) necessary to affect those outcomes. For example, an anesthesiology resident used the Healthcare Matrix for a complex 18hour episode of care with a life-threatening situation.

Ongoing Work and Research Agenda: Collecting and analyzing a series of matrices provides the foundation for systematic change in patient care and medical education and a rich source of data for operational and improvement research.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-02-01

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  • The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety will be published by Elsevier beginning in 2017! For readers who receive access to the journal through their institutions, the journal can now be found on ScienceDirect ( For librarians looking to subscribe to the journal for their institutions please contact your Elsevier Account Manager or visit for more information. All other readers, please visit to subscribe to the journal or to claim your access for an existing subscription.
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