What is Quality
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) defines healthcare quality as “the right care for every person every time.” www.cms.gov
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Definition of Quality: “The Institute of Medicine defines healthcare quality as the extent to which health services provided to individuals and patient populations improve desired health outcomes. The care should be based on the strongest clinical evidence and provided in a technically and culturally competent manner with good communication and shared decision making.”
“Total quality is best defined as an attitude, an orientation that permeates an entire organization, and the way in which that organization performs its internal and external business. People who work in organizations dedicated to the concept of total quality constantly strive for excellence and continuous quality improvement in all that they do.”www.iom.edu
AHRQ-The Agency for Health Cure Research Definition of Quality:
“As doing the right thing for the right patient, at the right time, in the right way to achieve the best possible results.” www.ahrq.gov
“Quality improvement is no longer a fringe philosophy in health care. It is now the mainstream approach for ensuring that the best possible care is delivered to every patient every day – and it is rapidly taking its rightful place in the core business strategy for institutions trying to survive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.” www.ihi.org
Health care in the 21st century…
It takes a village-it takes a team to deliver the best care possible for one’s illness or condition while maintaining their wellbeing. It also involves striving for and reaching excellent standards of care.
Quality always means doing the “right” thing “right” the first time.
Quality measures are measurement tools that adhere to standards. Standards are developed from evidence based medicine which are “Best Practices”. Standards are created when experts are able to understand what the right things are and how the right things are best achieved. “In order to improve health care quality we need to measure it”. (NCQA) National Committee for Quality Assurance. www.ncqa.org
We use these measurements to actively work to improve the health care status of our members in our disease management programs. At present we have programs for members with Congestive Heart Failure, Diabetes, members on anticoagulation medication, Dementia, (caregiver stress) and Depression.
We are on the front burner with the Institute for Health Care Improvement www.ihi.org. They lead the improvement of health care throughout the world. We review the most current standards for Heart Failure reduction of avoidable hospital readmissions and access to care.
We seek to improve the health and quality of life of people with chronic illness.
The Physician’s Role
The physicians guide and take a leadership role in conducting health care quality improvements.
Our physicians have a personal commitment to excellence and strive to do their best for every individual patient during each phone call, office visit, or hospital stay.
They encourage members to obtain all of the preventive services that are appropriate and anticipate their needs.
They support best practices and drive best performance by supporting the organizations overall quality measures.
Clinical Best Practices are identified through scientific evidence. Our physicians encourage adherence to these guidelines and practice in accordance to measurement findings.
They take ownership of all aspects of the coordination of care.
The Patient’s Role
Better information supports better care and empowers our members to be partners in their own care.
Steps to Improve the Safety of Your Health Care:
Become an Active Member in Your Health Care
- Ask questions if you don’t understand something.
- Know the name of your primary care physician.
- Understand any procedure that is recommended including the benefits, risks, alternatives, and expected outcomes.
- Understand you options and choose what is best for you.
- If you do not understand your treatment or medical care, bring a trusted relative or friend to your medical visit.
- All caregivers should identify themselves and explain how they are involved in your care. If they do not, ask them who they are.
- Before you receive any medical treatment, medical personnel should also ask you to identify yourself by name.
- Your physician needs to know past health and medical problems, and family medical history.
Know Your Medications and How to Take Them Safely
- Keep a list of all prescription, herbal, and over-the-counter medications that you take, and bring this list with your whenever you go to the hospital, urgent care, or doctor’s office.
- Know about your allergies and tell all caregivers if you are allergic to any medications.
- Tell your caregiver if you have any problem taking your medications and before changing the way your take your medications.
- Never share medications with others, or use drugs prescribed to someone else.
- Know when and how to take your medications. Know what each of your medications is for, possible side effects, and interaction with other drugs or food.
- Renew your prescriptions on time.
- Store medications in a safe place away from children and pets. Keep medications in their prescription container. Do not transfer drugs to unlabeled containers.