What Does Quality Healthcare Mean?

Quality has become a key factor in every field including healthcare. It is not just a loosely used word nowadays but has become the most important aspect of any healthcare facility. Let us learn in-depth the meaning of quality care;

The Definition of Quality of Care?

Let us first understand the technical definition provided by the WHO– “quality of care is the extent to which health care services provided to individuals and patient populations improve desired health outcomes. In order to achieve this, health care must be safe, effective, timely, efficient, equitable and people-centered”.

In simple words, quality in healthcare means providing patient care to a patient in need which is safe, effective and affordable. Another definition of this term is the patient’s involvement in his/her diagnosis and treatment plan so that the patient is engaged and takes ownership throughout the treatment process.

Quality care is not just about a positive interaction with the patient but much more than that. It involves a medical center to keep up with the latest technologies, clinical trials and also keep in mind the legislative updates. Hence to be able to provide superior care, it is important to stay informed and abreast of the latest healthcare news and trends.

Healthcare Quality that Should be Aimed:

As per the Quality Strategy devised by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the following are the six quality goals for healthcare:

  • Make care safer by reducing harm caused in the delivery of care.
  • Strengthen person and family engagement as partners in their care.
  • Promote effective communication and coordination of care.
  • Promote effective prevention and treatment of chronic disease.
  • Work with communities to promote best practices of healthy living.
  • Make care affordable

Following are a few quality attributes which every healthcare provider should aim for;

Patient’s Safety:

Delivering quality healthcare requires employing competent staffs with the right knowledge, skill, and experience on duty who are well equipped to deal with emergencies, avoiding medical errors and minimizing risks to the patient.

Effective Treatment:

A treatment plan as per the patient’s medical condition which is well-researched and effective should be deployed. Co-ordinated efforts from various teams so that every staff has the information needed such as the patient’s updated medical records to understand the flow of the treatment. Communicating the diagnosis and the treatment plan entirely along with the best case and the worst-case scenario with compassion to the patient so that the patient knows beforehand what to expect.

Timely Treatment:

Reducing any delay in providing the required treatment and all the tests needed to confirm the diagnosis and the treatment plan.

Increasing Efficiency:

Planning a treatment plan which gives maximum benefit deploying minimum resources to avoid wastage as well as to avoid any unnecessary discomfort to the patient by reducing unwanted procedures.

Encouraging Equitable:

Delivering high-quality healthcare facilities to every individual without differentiating the patient’s based on personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, color, race, geographical location or social status.

Being People-Centered:

Providing healthcare which not only focuses on the patient’s treatment but also gives preference to the choices of the patient, the family, and the entire community.

Modern medicine is bent upon improving the quality of treatment and minimizing errors. The focus has shifted from the quantity of patients to the quality of treatment a patient can expect from any healthcare facility. If a facility fails to offer a timely treatment or misdiagnose which in turn leads to a patient’s suffering or death, medical malpractice laws are in place and specialized law firms such as Hastings can be hired to advocate on behalf of the patient’s or the family grievances.

Healthcare quality cannot be raised individually by the doctor, but it is a collaborative effort by the physician, hospital, patient, the patient’s family and at a long stretch, the community itself.

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