Codman Gravesite Receives Memorial

On July 22, 2014, a memorial stone was placed on the unmarked grave of E. Amory Codman, MD, in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Mass. The effort to honor Dr. Codman’s many contributions to medicine was initiated by members of the American College of Surgeons, and supported by The Joint Commission, the American Shoulder & Elbow Surgeons (ASES), the AAOS, the American Hospital Association, and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The commissioned headstone acknowledges Dr. Codman as “Father of outcomes assessment and quality measurement in healthcare” and includes his prescient quote: “It may take a hundred years for my ideas to be accepted.”

As early as 1900, Dr. Codman developed an interest in what he termed “The End Result Idea.” This concept was that every hospital should follow every patient treated, long enough to determine whether the treatment was successful and then, if not, to determine why.

“We had found that this routine tracing of every case, interesting and uninteresting, had brought to our notice many things in which our knowledge, our technique, our organization, our own skill or wisdom, and perhaps even our care and our consciences, needed attention,” he wrote.

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