PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was issued today by the American Board of Internal Medicine: The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and ABIM Foundation recognize The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System for its unsettling report (9/20/06) on the condition of our nation's health care system as compared to the rest of the world. The Commonwealth Fund Commission Scorecard findings are significant - and very disturbing. Our health care system is desperately in need of major overhaul. Improving patient outcomes requires a degree of coordination and organization that our health care system currently lacks - and that our financing system often undermines. Our nation needs new models of care that promote prevention, coordination and integration - that link together patients, care teams and information - and a financing system that supports such patient-centered care. We must reduce waste and inefficiency which drive up health care costs - failure to do so makes quality health care unaffordable and unavailable to many across our nation. Internists - and all primary care clinicians - work at the nexus of this broken system. But rather than wait for a "system fix," ABIM is providing physicians tools, via board certification, to: assess their own clinical performance; glean feedback from patients and colleagues; evaluate their own system infrastructure, including IT; and get objective feedback about their knowledge base, diagnostic acumen, and clinical judgment. ABIM is also examining ways to enhance its programs in order to support physicians in becoming more efficient (See "Taming Health Care Inefficiency: Physicians and Others Explore Solutions" at http://www.abimfoundation.org/publications). We applaud the Commission for providing us with a comprehensive, comparative set of measures to use as a basis for improving the performance of our nation's health care system. We will continue our work with physicians, policy makers and other stakeholders to promote coordinated, efficient and high-quality patient care, and to help build a strong and viable health care delivery system. Our patients deserve nothing less. The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) is an independent, not-for- profit organization that grants board certification -- a well-accepted marker of physician quality -- to internists and subspecialists. Certification is a rigorous, comprehensive program for evaluating physician knowledge, skills and attitudes to assure both patients and payers that a physician has achieved competence for practice in a given field. Individual physician certification results may be found at http://www.abim.org.
SOURCE American Board of Internal Medicine