Quality of Care
There is no easy definition for quality and there are multiple pieces to quality which ultimately lead to overall improved outcomes, whether it's a positive patient outcome or improved operational efficiency. Specific to patient care, the Institute of Medicine defines healthcare quality as the extent to which health services provided to individuals and patient populations improve desired health outcomes. The care should be based on the strongest clinical evidence and provided in a technically and culturally competent manner with good communication and shared decision making.
Involvement with Collaboratives is a Guide for Quality at ACH
Thanks to the work of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ), healthcare quality professionals receive the best training and education needed to tackle the daily challenges seen in healthcare.
Quality and safety professionals are an integral part of the success of today's modern healthcare system. They impact every aspect of the healthcare process in facilities large and small, from major metropolitan health centers to local long-term care facilities. Healthcare quality professionals ensure their facility meets specific requirements set forth by accrediting bodies for healthcare organizations and programs, such as The Joint Commission and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (NAHQ 2012)
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement is an independent not-for-profit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. IHI focuses on motivating and building the will for change; identifying and testing new models of care in partnership with both patients and health care professionals; and ensuring the broadest possible adoption of best practices and effective innovations.
Arkansas Children's Hospital is involved with multiple partnerships called collaboratives. The purpose for these collaboratives are to talk with other organizations and share ideas back and forth for how healthcare workers can provide the best care possible. Some of these collaboratives are within the state of Arkansas focusing on quality in the general sense; others are with children's hospitals around the country. The largest collaborative that ACH is involved with includes 34 children's hospitals throughout the country. Every week leaders from these hospitals come together to discuss quality issues, learn from one another and continually focus on how we can provide the safest and most efficient care for the children we are privileged to take care of.
The Institute of Medicine has identified the following components and definitions regarding quality when the goal of an improvement initiative is to provide improved patient outcomes.
- Safe: Avoiding preventable injuries, reducing medical errors,
- Effective: Providing services based on scientific knowledge (clinical guidelines),
- Patient centered: Care that is respectful and responsive to individuals,
- Efficient: Avoiding wasting time and other resources,
- Timely: Reducing wait times, improving the practice flow,
- Equitable: Consistent care regardless of patient characteristics and demographics.
Again looking at the Institute of Medicine they say Total quality is best defined as an attitude, an orientation that permeates an entire organization, and the way in which that organization performs its internal and external business. People who work in organizations dedicated to the concept of total quality constantly strive for excellence and continuous quality improvement in all that they do.