The quality improvement movement in medicine has been rolling along for more than a decade, and pediatricians have attempted to be part of these efforts to improve the care we give to our patients. Part of the difficulty has been in defining exactly what quality improvement means. After all, haven’t physicians always been interested in learning how to improve the care they give? Individually and collectively, aren’t we all striving constantly to get closer to the elusive ideal of optimal care?

In 1993, an editorial by Bergman posed a question in its title: “ Quality Improvement: Buzz Words or Boon?”. (1) That editorial and myriad other writings have tried to clarify and define the specifics of a true quality improvement initiative. Over the years, we have discovered real world components of quality improvement that give the movement tangible shape and credibility. Practice guidelines are one component, and we...

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