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Components Of The Quality Of Healthcare

1707 words - 7 pages

Once defined as “the degree of conformity with preset standards”...the standards of which care were judged was implicit and existed solely in the mind of evaluators (Sultz & Young, 2014). Quality of care is a measureable aspect of healthcare though challenging, it can classify and enumerate poor and high-quality care. Measures are used to analyze how healthcare institutions perform in quality and in finance; the organization has a basis for understanding its delivery of care and for improving that care (Dlugacz, 2006). The various departments and ranges of data needed to measure quality all differ in hospital settings but, the availability of medical records and other clinical information make it easier to evaluate quality of care. This paper will analyze the components of the quality of health care, identify agencies that focus on quality, explore the HCAHPS survey and the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services roles in assessment of quality of care in hospitals.
Hospitals are major stakeholders in the healthcare industry. Hospitals of varying types exist, such as general, specialty, teaching, for or not-for-profit, rural and independent. All of which are fundamental to the health care system. The basic components of measuring quality of hospital care are structure, process, outcomes and research. The delivery of health care has been quantified with the model, structure + process = outcome (Quality). The structure component was the most utilized device to measure quality in health care until the 1960’s. Hospitals relied on credentialing mechanisms to prove quality of care, which is a structure component. “The underlying assumption of structural quality reviews was that the better the facilities and the qualifications of the providers, the better the quality of care rendered” (Sultz & Young, 2014). The process component involves what happens at the time when patients interact with providers, which directly addresses the quality of these interactions. The outcome component encompasses all the things that do or do not happen as a result of medical intervention (Sultz & Young, 2014). There is a consensus that patient encounters directly influence the outcomes. The research component focuses on results of objective and quantitative data. Computerized information systems today are influential in quality of care data and allow for the analysis of the relationship among the structure, process, outcomes and research components. While there are varying definitions of the quality of care, there are also no set standards of measures. The explanation for this is simple, the diversity of healthcare groups seek to measure different ranges of data and seek different types of outcomes. A set of quality of care measures is developed from determining the method of quality assessment, determining the appropriate sources of data and the purpose for which the information will be used (O'Kane & Paul D. Cleary).
There are many organizations that take an interest...

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