Quality of care refers to the ability for the health services provided to persons and populations to increase the possibility of getting the desired health outcomes. The choices and values of patients should be considered by clinicians to get the desired outcomes. The knowledge of the patients perception on different health outcomes is needed to determine what the patients need. Even if the measures or knowledge of quality are good today, practitioners should be ready to revise them since there is always new knowledge of what works in health care or what does not work. (Cohen et al., 2017). Quality of care can be improved by refurbished systems that minimize and prevent mistakes and the injuries that are caused by such errors by harmonizing care in different settings.
To successfully measure the quality of care, attention should be directed towards the three kinds of quality challenges, which include overuse or too much care, underuse, which is very little care, and mistakes in the technical aspect, which is misuse. Overuse of care occurs when an unnecessary medical procedure like X-rays and overprescription of antibiotics are given to patients putting them in danger of harmful side effects. (Cohen et al., 2017). Those procedures might lead to a waste of money and resources that could be utilized in other ways. Underuse of care refers to the barriers that prevent a patients ability to find or receive care. Misuse of care occurs when poor patient outcomes occur due to inadequate performance of health care professionals, inadequate support system, poor knowledge of practitioners, or ineffective communication with patients. (Cohen et al., 2017).
There are three elements considered when measuring and monitoring the quality of care, which include the structure, the process, and the outcome. The structure can be defined as the ability to provide a high level of quality care. The process is concerned with performance and results of treatment interventions, while an outcome is considered a good measure of quality if it has a close relationship with the process of care and can be influenced to change the outcome. Moreover, a process becomes a valid measure of quality if it has a close relationship with the outcome that patients are focusing on. The structural measures cover attributes of resources in the health care system which includes individuals or groups of practitioners and the ease to access healthcare services. These are initiatives of the perceived ability of the healthcare professionals to provide high quality health care. (Akach & Kruk, 2017).
The process measure of quality involves the diagnosis and control of the patients condition as well as preventive care such as screening. Outcome measurement entails the conventional ways of measuring the chances of survival, the unexpected results of medication, and repose of symptoms. These initiatives may be targeted at a particular health need or might even point at the biomedical outcomes. The outcome achieved determines whether the care objectives were met by observing the physiologic outcomes, such as the reduction of symptoms, cost of care, patient satisfaction, and resource utilization. High quality care should be associated with improvement of patients symptoms, patient satisfaction with care, accessibility, affordability, and optimal utilization of healthcare resources.
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