IOM suggests 20 'yardsticks' for quality meaurement

The Institute of Medicine has issued a new set of standards that it hopes to see established as basic "yardsticks" for measuring Americans' health. As part of the program, the IOM has launched its "The State of the USA" site (, which shares information on its program.

The measures chosen by the IOM include life expectancy at birth, life expectancy at age 65, infant mortality, injury-related mortality, chronic disease prevalence, serious psychological distress, health expenditures, preventable hospitalizations and childhood immunizations. The measures also include health-related behaviors such as smoking status, level of physical activity and nutrition.

Ultimately, the idea is to keep track of not only how U.S. citizens are doing, but also to compare U.S. health directly with the health of citizens in other nations. The measures take into account not only clinical care, but also the social environment in which Americans live, including the quality of their air, water and housing.

To learn more about the IOM's program:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)
- look at the IOM's new website

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