Many you know my about my disgust for the “quality movement”.   Please search through my past blogs to get a feel for my argument.   I also recently put out a piece we used in the Placebo Journal called SUQASS.  In the parody we allude to the joke that something must be of quality if you say the word quality over and over again.   As real life example, I just read this little diddy about a doctor (I kept things anonymous) being given a award:

Quality Improvement Leadership Award

 Dr. X, president of the ABC Medical Staff, has been recognized by a state healthcare organization for his work in healthcare quality improvement. Anonymous State Quality Counts (ASQC) has recognized Dr. X with its second annual Quality Improvement Leadership Award. This annual award recognizes healthcare leaders who have made outstanding efforts to advance healthcare quality, providing an example for others to follow, and raising awareness of ASQC’s commitment to transform the quality of healthcare. Dr. X was recognized for his role in ABC’s ongoing care integration project. In addition to his role as president of the ABC Medical Staff, Dr. X is ABC’s interim chief medical information officer, interim Accountable Care Organization medical director, and physician advisor for clinical redesign. ASQC is a regional healthcare collaborative committed to improving health and healthcare for the people of Anonymous State. The organization provides leadership, advocacy, and support for improving health, promoting consistent delivery of high-quality care, improving access to care, and containing healthcare costs.

Seven times!  The word quality has now become overused and meaningless.


Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  7 comments for “Big Time SUQASS

  1. mamadoc
    May 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    What a crock of goat yogurt. And he probably hasn’t touched a real patient in 20 years

  2. AZRN
    May 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Read it twice and still cannot figure out what he’s actually done in measurable terms.

  3. May 2, 2012 at 10:36 am

    “Quality,” is the medical equivalent to professional athlete “superstar;” bandied about so frequently, and loosely, to have become meaningless.

    What will the next iteration of the phrase become? Athletic “star” became “superstar.” “Quality” has already become “highest quality” where I live. Will it morph into “highest superb quality?”

    Oh, King of Medicine, what do you think? What will you decree? Will you add a southern drawl to it with your move to Virginia?

    • Doug Farrago
      May 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Yes….I think Lord of Quality is the next term

  4. tom walsh
    May 2, 2012 at 9:29 am

    If Dr X does all the QUALITY work, when does he have time to do any REAL medical work like treating patients?
    I will stick with my G.P. — ooops, primary care person. At least I believe I will get some relief.

  5. April 30, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Wow, I get you. It’s really awesome how doctors and their bureaucratic handlers have begun to really push this term without utterly diluting its impact, I mean, like, ‘quality’ is really, y’know, like the ultimate word for what we do, in a cost-conscious, patient-centered way. With all of our years of training, it’s just like, amazing to me that so many compassionate non-doctors Can y’know, seriously help all of us self-evaluate, and to those who aren’t into QUALITY I’m like, whatever. I think quality is hot.

    • Doug Farrago
      May 1, 2012 at 4:59 am


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