Measuring the Quality of Health Care

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Assignment: Measuring Quality1

Axia College at University of Phoenix
Assignment: Measuring Quality2

The current growth in the technology and knowledge of health care is faster than at any time in history. These advances in science and technology have brought with them a separation between physicians, hospitals, ambulatory clinics, and insurance companies. This separation and lack of communication is causing a drop in the quality of care that many patients receive.

Before the quality of care can be measured, it has to be defined. In 1999, The Institute of Medicine listed the "Six Aims for Improvement" in health care quality. ( Crossing the Quality Chasm: http://www.iom.edu/CMS/8089.aspx ) Other organizations are using these six aims as a basis for measuring quality medical care.

The Six Aims for Improvement
Safe: Care intended to help patients should never hurt them Effective: Avoid overuse and underuse of services by applying scientific knowledge to everyone who could benefit, and refrain servicing anyone who will not benefit Patient-centered: All care should be respectful to individual patient preferences, and responsive to individual patient needs. Timely: Delays and wait times are harmful to both patients and providers. Efficient: Time, equipment, supplies, ideas and energy should never be wasted. Equitable: Gender, ethnicity, geographic location, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status of a patient should never cause a variance in the quality of care. (Crossing the Quality Chasm)

Convincing physicians and clinics to switch to electronic medical record keeping will make huge progress in measuring quality of care. Medical record software is able to track wait time, time spent with individual patients, care received, and patient outcome. The same programs are also able to track equipment and supplies used with each patient and gauge efficiency. All of this information can Assignment: Measuring...
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