Defining Healthcare Quality and Value
Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.
Improving safety, quality, and value are the cornerstones of healthcare transformation. Although there are many ways in which quality and value are defined and measured, healthcare organizations (HCOs) must adopt and internalize their own definitions of quality in order to create quality goals, objectives, and targets that are meaningful and relevant to the organization and, more importantly, the patients they serve. The adage, “You can’t improve what you can’t measure,” applies to healthcare analytics; this chapter will discuss why and how quality must be defined in quantifiable terms so that data analytics can be effectively leveraged to measure, monitor, and maintain healthcare improvements.
What Is Quality?
From the patient’s perspective, healthcare is often thought of in terms of quality and expressed in questions such as, “Which hospital or provider will provide me the best healthcare possible?” Because patients are concerned with receiving high-quality (and affordable) care, quality of care delivery should be of utmost importance to every HCO. Many HCOs stake their reputation on the quality of their care, and patients’ lives literally depend on it. Hospitals, clinics, and providers that are deemed to be of high quality earn stellar reputations, attract patients, are successful at attracting top staff (including both clinical and research professionals), and earn ...