This paperback book is the second in a series of three volumes (Contrasts in Health Status) and is entitled A Strategy for Evaluating Health Services. This study was performed by a panel of distinguished consultants under the aegis of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. This volume is concerned with developing a method for evaluating health systems based on the tracer methodology.
Underlying the tracer method is the basic assumption that how a physician or team of providers routinely administers care for common ailments (tracers) and what happens to the patients who receive that care, or how a system identifies populations requiring special attention, eg, high-risk infants and pregnant women, will be an indicator of the general quality of care delivered in that practice. Instead of focusing on the isolated patient or health professional, a set of tracers permits consideration of a range of health service