John M. Eisenberg, MD, MBA, the director of the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, died March 10, of a brain tumor. He was 55.
Eisenberg was named AHRQ's director in 1997 (when the agency was still known as the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research), becoming the point man for the federal government's efforts to improve the quality of American health care — specifically, preventing errors.
In an interview with Managed Care in May 2000, Eisenberg was asked what he sees as the pluses and minuses of public disclosure of reported medical errors.
"We have to decide which events are important enough that they should be reported," he said. "We have to be sure we're considering risk and case mix as we report these numbers. We have to be sure we have a standardized and reproducible definition."