Table 1.

Six Aims for the 21st Century Health Care System

Source: Institute of Medicine. Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001.
Safe—Avoiding injuries to patients from the care that is intended to help them
Effective—Providing services based on scientific knowledge to all who could benefit and refraining from providing services to those not likely to benefit
Patient-centered—Providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions
Timely—Reducing waits and sometimes harmful delays for both those who receive and those who give care
Efficient—Avoiding waste, including waste of equipment, supplies, ideas and energy
Equitable—Providing care that does not vary in quality because of personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, geographic location, and socioeconomic status