Processes that are inefficient and variable, changing case mix of patients, health insurance, differences in provider education and experience, and numerous other factors contribute to the complexity of health care. The goals of measuring health care quality are to determine the effects of health care on desired outcomes and to assess the degree to which health care adheres to processes based on scientific evidence or agreed to by professional consensus and is consistent with patient preferences. Because errors are caused by system or process failures, 5 it is important to adopt various process-improvement techniques to identify inefficiencies, ineffective care, and preventable errors to then influence changes associated with systems.
The quality of the healthcare that Americans receive varies greatly across social, economic, and geographic boundaries.
Recent studies have indicated that American adults receive recommended care only about 55 percent of the time; that disparities exist in the way care is delivered to racial and ethnic minorities; and that 30 percent of healthcare spending is wasteful and produces no value to the patient.
To create a national healthcare system that provides efficient, effective care of a consistently high quality to all Americans, regardless of their geographic location, a standardized system of evidence-based performance measurement and reporting must be established be applying the principles of quality improvement to the American healthcare system.
Many different organizations work together to apply these principles, including performance measurement, public reporting of the results of those measurements, and constant action to correct deficiencies, within the quality landscape of American healthcare.
The principles of quality improvement are central to the work of NQF. NQF is a private sector standard-setting organization whose efforts center on the evaluation and endorsement of standardized performance measurement. NQF evaluates and endorses tools for standardized performance measurement, including: These performance standards can be used by institutions, providers, and healthcare consumers to: Create reliable, comparative performance information on which consumers can rely to make informed decisions about their care; Ensure practitioners and provider organizations are held accountable for the quality and efficiency of their performance; and Support quality improvement activities.
The data gathered by these performance standards can then be used to improve healthcare quality in a variety of ways, including: A healthcare institution e. The state or federal agency then shares the data with the public so that consumers can compare results across institutions and over time.
Healthcare institutions are judged by their performance on certain standards and are rewarded financially based on the quality of care that they provide. Some standards can help an individual institution monitor its own performance, even if they are not considered suitable for public reporting.
Comparisons across institutions based on these standards generally are not possible.Suggested Reading 3 Steps to Prioritize Clinical Quality Improvement in Healthcare Suggested Reading Five Deming Principles That Help Healthcare Process Improvement Suggested Reading Why Healthcare Requires an EDW, Analytics Applications, and Visualization Tools for Quality Improvement Initiatives.
The principles of quality improvement are central to the work of NQF. NQF is a private sector standard-setting organization whose efforts center on the evaluation and endorsement of standardized performance measurement. But the process of planning, testing, and eventually spreading those changes does not have to be overwhelming.
Health care organizations can take advantage of established principles and approaches to quality improvement, which are already familiar to the many providers involved in clinical quality improvement (QI).
Page 1 of Section 4 of the CAHPS Ambulatory Care Improvement Guide discusses the concept of microsystems in the context of improving patient experience and provides an overview of the quality improvement process.
Develop alignment strategies for medical committees to monitor compliance with.
Quality Improvement. QUALITY IMPROVEMENT. The purpose of this module is to provide a foundation and an introduction to quality improvement (QI) concepts and key topics for developing or improving a QI program within an.