Improving Quality of Care
Assessing and improving quality health care in the United States is a high priority in this day and age of health care. As health care providers we have an obligation to serve as leaders and visionaries and actively demonstrate and document the advances to patient-centered care. Many agencies and organizations have developed initiatives to advance patient care through quality improvement measures and patient safety programs. Evaluating quality health care is important for consumer, providers and society. Developing a quality measure of health care is an important objective for organizations that value health care quality.
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Several factors are associated with negative quality patient care and satisfaction such as: high workloads and dissatisfaction with the job. With the health care provider shortages, these negative effects tend to loom over the health care field.
Patient safety is an important part of our health care system and it defines quality health care. Keeping our patients safe is a challenging issue because errors and mistakes can and do happen, especially in organizations with limited staff. Patient ratings of care are commonly used by health plans, payers, providers, and consumers assess the quality of health care received. Measuring satisfaction is common in other service industries for various purposes, including marketing and improving service delivery (Chang, Hays, Shekelle, MacLean, Solomon, Reuben, & Wenger, 2006).
Quality of Healthcare is a Problem in the United States
Health care organization need to raise awareness on patient safety and quality care. Some of the ways that organizations can achieve this is to: diagnose and assess the current status of patient safety culture, identify strengths and areas for patient safety culture improvement, evaluate the cultural impact of patient safety initiatives and interventions and conduct internal and external comparisons (AHRQ, 2016). There is no single method for assessing quality health care. Patient satisfaction surveys are becoming the way of the land in health care. Surveys are now the basis for reimbursement from payers such as Medicare. The goal in health care is to give the patient quality health care, safety and effectively. Grant E. Steffen has pointed out that “quality has two different meanings: first, in a metaphysical sense, quality is identical to the properties of an object and does not imply a preference or value; second, in a preferential sense, quality is identical with the capacity of the properties to achieve a specific goal.” Quality patient care will continue to be a growing concern in health care. With the provider shortages and changes to the health care system like the Affordable Care Act, patient load is going to continue to increase. As health care providers we must work to meet the increasing demand, but also strive for high quality patient care as well.
The U.S. has a higher infant mortality rate and lower life expectancy than comparable countries. (WHO 2007, Commonwealth Fund 2007) The U.S. has the highest rate of maternal mortality among high-income countries (13 in 100,000), and also the highest rate of C-Sections (32%, as opposed to a WHO recommended 5-15%) and 45,000 people die each year simply because they have no health insurance (American Journal of Public Health 2009). With statistics like these it is no wonder that the health care system in the United States is in such distress. Overall, the health care crisis is the result of the privatization and commodification of the U.S. health system, which reflects market imperatives and profit interests that...