How do you explain the idea of “high-quality health care"?
The answer varies, but understanding it is paramount.
You hear the phrase all the time. It is our end goal. Yet, consumers define quality of care in many different ways. Some describe it as “good bedside manner,” others as “a doctor who is very knowledgeable.”
We define high-quality health care as care that is effective, safe, patient-centered, timely, efficient, equitable, and delivered by professionals who are respectful, communicate clearly, and involve patients in decision-making.
Once consumers understand everything that goes into experiencing high-quality care, it may not take a great leap to realize that quality varies. Once that is established, the next step is to understand that health care quality data can help consumers make decisions about their care.
The New Mexico Coalition for Health Care Quality uses an organizing framework to explain quality of care. The home page opens with: “Quality health care helps you stay healthy, helps you recover faster from an illness or injury, and it’s the kind of care you want for you and your family.”
The Learn, Compare, Act framework is used by the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality. The “Read Our Stories” section of their web site provides information about health care quality to orient them to—and engage them in—reports in the “Compare” section.
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