Standardization as a mechanism to improve safety in health care

Rozich JD, Howard RJ, Justeson JM, Macken PD, Lindsay ME, Resar RK. Standardization as a mechanism to improve safety in health care. Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety. 2004;30(1):5-14.

An increasing number of studies show that when patterns of care are widely divergent, clinical outcomes suffer and, as a result, safety and reliability may be compromised. This article discusses how standardization may help to increase uniformity of practice, increase safety, and possibly reduce costs. Also described is an effort made by Luther Midlefort, Mayo Health System, to reduce variation by creating a system-wide protocol for insulin use. After six weeks, Luther Midelfort achieved a great reduction in the number of hypoglycemic events as a result of standardized practices.

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