Quality Measures

Quality measures are tools that help us measure or quantify healthcare processes, outcomes, patient perceptions, and organizational structure and/or systems that are associated with the ability to provide high-quality health care and/or that relate to one or more quality goals for health care.

Important definitions

  1. Product (service) quality is a combination of properties and characteristics of a product or service that determine their ability to meet established or anticipated requirements;
  2. Performance quality is a characteristic that reflects the degree of satisfaction of the needs of consumers (customers);
  3. Conformity quality is a characteristic reflecting the degree of conformity of a product to accepted standards (internal specification of a product or service)

Types of services

  • Material – ensure the restoration of consumer properties or the manufacture of new products (repair, sewing, washing, manufacturing of goods);
  • Intangible or socio-cultural services – provide health, spiritual and physical development. The result of such a service is a change in the state of the consumer of services

Quality of medical care

  • Medical care that meets medical technology standards should be considered good quality in the absence of complications resulting from treatment and patient satisfaction;
  • Quality of medical care is a set of characteristics confirming the compliance of the assistance provided to the patients’ (population) needs, their expectations, the current level of medical science and technology

Key features of effective quality measures

Structure measures – a component of healthcare quality that describes the conditions for its provision. Structure measures include:

  • Opportunities for healthcare facilities – availability and condition of equipment, rational use of resources, condition of buildings and premises, drug provision, availability and replenishment of consumables, etc.;
  • Professional qualities of a health worker – knowledge, skills for performing diagnostic and treatment manipulations.

Process measures – a component of the quality of medical care that describes whether the complex of treatment and diagnostic measures provided to a particular patient was optimal.

Outcome Measures – a component of healthcare quality that describes the relationship of actually achieved results with real achievable (planned). The planned results usually include:

  • The dynamics of the health status of a particular patient;
  • The results of treatment of all patients in hospitals for the reporting period;
  • The state of health of the population of the territory.

Characteristics of healthcare quality

  • Professional competence – the availability of knowledge, skills and the direct work of health workers, as well as support staff;
  • Accessibility – access to the health service does not depend on geographical, economic. social, cultural, organizational or linguistic barriers;
  • Effectiveness – when assessing effectiveness, it is necessary to answer the questions: 1) will the prescribed treatment lead to the desired results? 2) is the prescribed treatment the best in these conditions?;
  • Interpersonal relationships – the relationship between medical staff and patients, health workers and their management, the health service and the population as a whole;
  • Efficiency – the relationship of the results obtained to the resources expended. Efficiency is always relative, and effectiveness analysis is performed to compare alternative solutions;
  • Continuity – the patient receives all necessary medical care without delay and interruptions, unnecessary repetitions in the process of diagnosis and treatment;
  • Safety – minimizing the risk of possible injuries, infections, side effects of treatment and other undesirable consequences in the process of providing medical care;
  • Convenience – the appearance of medical institutions, personnel and material objects, as well as comfort, cleanliness, confidential setting.