Origins

The Wennberg Anthology

Dr. John E. Wennberg’s anthology of medical practice variation, spanning more than forty years of research can be found here: Collected Studies of Health Care: Outcomes and Practice Variation.
 

The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care

Since the publication of its first national report in 1996, The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care has become a trusted source of data measuring the performance of the United States health care system and the pre-eminent authority on unwarranted variation in health care. Two key themes have emerged directly from its work. One is that the patient should play a central role in decision-making; studies of variations in the rates of common surgical procedures, as well as newer research on prescription drug use and pediatric imaging, have highlighted the lack of evidence on the risks and benefits of many treatments and the difficulty that patients and families face understanding these risks and making well-informed choices. The second theme is that high expenditures and utilization are not necessarily associated with better health outcomes; in other words, spending more and doing more do not always lead to better care or better health. This work provides an important foundation for the ongoing health policy debate in the United States, as well as a model for international researchers interested in studying unwarranted health care variation in their own countries.
 

Windows on Healthcare: The Faces of Variations

This video traces the origin, evolution, and impact of the study of geographic variations in healthcare in the United States.

Written, Produced, and Directed by: Edwin Gailits
© 2004
Click to download full video credits