Health Care Quality

Definition

General characteristics of the health service or care provided based on accepted standards of quality. 

Rationale

Health care quality informs entire health care systems and is constantly being redefined based on new research and changing patient characteristics. Clinical science needs health care quality to identify strengths and weaknesses of interventions through both qualitative (patient satisfaction) and quantitative (patient remittance rates) measures and translational science uses health care quality definitions to interpret interventions across different fields where most hold similar health care quality standards. 

Guidance

Advice from authors on searching for information:

It can be challenging to identify accepted standards of quality and determine if a specific clinical and translational research project improves health care quality. 

Resources & Data

Organizations, repositories, websites, and other sources where you can find more information:

Local

Barnes Jewish Hospital HealthCare Quality 
Provides links to the Missouri Hospital Association and national comparison website (at the HHS) that compare hospitals on quality care across the nation. This resource is mostly for patients looking to understand how BJC ranks against other hospitals and if it has quality health care. 

General

Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
Provides links to research and practice tools to improve quality of health care. Program areas include Clinicians & Providers, Data & Measures, Education & Training, Health Information Technology, Hospitals & Health Systems, Prevention & Chronic Care, and Quality & Patient Safety.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement 
Provides educational programs, trainings, and tools to drive healthcare improvement. Performs in-person programs as well as providing virtual training and online courses.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services 
Conducts research on health care quality, creates materials (trainings, tools, protocols, etc.) to teach to clinicians, and analyzes data to find health care areas to improve. Provides tabs to specific areas (i.e. opioid prescriptions, infection spreading, etc.) and funds hospitals/schools that are interested in researching ways to improve health care quality.  

Vizient
Provides members with tools to lower supply costs, improve health care delivery, pharmacy consulting, and decision-making analytics.

Data Limitations

Challenges you may encounter while searching for information:

Health care quality standards are subject to debate as to whether metrics can be used as performance measures of health care outcomes.

Publications

Articles, books, and other publications in translational science using the indicator:

Barnett PG, Hong JS, Carey E, et al. Comparison of accessibility, cost, and quality of elective coronary revascularization between veterans affairs and community care hospitals. JAMA Cardiol. 2018; 3(2): 133-141. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2017.4843.

Maddox TM, Borden WB, Tang F, et al. Implications of the 2013 ACC/AHA cholesterol guidelines for adults in contemporary cardiovascular practice: insights from the NCDR PINNACLE registry. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014 Dec; 64(21): 2183-2192. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2014.08.041.

Stelfox HT, Straus SE. Measuring quality of care: considering conceptual approaches to quality indicator development and evaluation. J Clin Epidemiol. 2013 Dec;66(12):1328-37. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2013.05.017.

Case Studies

Content coming soon!

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