option for expanding the set of variables for analysis. For example, linking information about hospitals or other facilities that provide care with patient-level databases would allow the analyses of important structural components of care. To improve the timeliness of data, data collection has to be standardized and automated to provide relatively quick turnaround of information. It is important to assess the following aspects of care, which could affect quality, but also will present analytic challenges: multidisciplinary care teams, referral patterns to specialists, second opinions, and the communication skills of health providers.

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