Defining and measuring quality in health care organizations

Defining and measuring quality in health care organizations

Discussion: Defining and Measuring Quality in Health Care Organizations

Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.

—John Ruskin

Quality is multidimensional and involves the perspectives of various stakeholders, including patients and families. As noted in this week’s Learning Resources, defining quality is not a simple, straightforward task. Yet, it provides an essential foundation for being able to measure and assess quality, and, ultimately, to improve it.

In this Discussion, you consider definitions and measurements of quality. As you proceed, think about why it is important for organizations to be able to quantify quality and compare current performance to previous performance, to a set of standards, and/or to performance in other organizations. 

To prepare:

· Review the information in the Learning Resources, especially the chapters in the Sadeghi, Brazi, Mikhail, and Shabot course text, focusing on how quality is or could be defined and measured.

· Think about a health care organization with which you are familiar. It may be the same organization you are focusing on for your Course Project, or a different one. How do you think various stakeholders in this organization would define quality? How would you define quality as it relates to this organization?

· Review the information on quality standards and / or aims in the Learning Resources, and consider the following:

· Which outcomes related to quality are currently being monitored in the organization that you have selected?

· How is related data collected and evaluated?

· Does the organization use health information technology in this regard? If so, how?

· How is quality-related information (e.g., data, needs for improvement) communicated throughout the organization?

· What do you consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of the current approach to quality in this organization.

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