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Defining Healthcare Quality Essay


The quality in healthcare is one of the primary concerns. It is important to understand the concept of healthcare to manage it properly (Spath, 2013). Quality presupposes meeting the expectations of clients and achieving their satisfaction. Moreover, standards of quality should be flexible and constantly improved to meet the changing demands. This paper is an attempt to define quality, the related practice healthcare problem, and suggest a solution to the problem.

Healthcare Quality Definition

To define health care quality, it is necessary to review its goals. According to Yoder-Wise (2015), health care provision follows the goals of safety, effectiveness, equitability, and effectiveness. Moreover, it should be patient-centered and timely. Thus, the definition should consider these major goals also known as dimensions of healthcare that need improvement (Spath, 2013). In the healthcare context, quality can be defined as that kind of health service for individuals that provides the best possible safe and efficient service on time, equally, and with constantly improving outcomes.

There are some approaches to assessing the quality of healthcare. The mentioned definition is related to the quality theory suggested by Donabedian. According to his architecture for measuring health care quality, “structure, process, and outcome” are the most significant aspects of the theory of health care quality (Kleinman & Dougherty, 2013, S113). This triad of structure comprises the necessary aspects that should be considered and constantly improved in the process of healthcare. Thus, structure includes the constituents of healthcare delivery, such as settings, qualifications, and administrative systems (Ayanian & Markel, 2016).

Attention to these aspects will help to meet such demands of care as safety, efficiency, and equitability. Process also deals with safety. Moreover, it is directly related to the improved outcomes as the result of healthcare delivery. Finally, outcome, that is treated as “recovery, restoration of function, and survival,” is connected with safety and improved patient outcomes (Ayanian & Markel, 2016, p. 206). Thus, it can be concluded that quality depends on the set of factors that should be improved to achieve the best possible results in healthcare.

There are many problems in the process of care that are related to quality. For example, one of such problems is taking verbal orders while the physician is on the unit. Verbal orders can be misheard and, as a result, misunderstood. Moreover, it is complicated to transfer verbal orders to the following shifts. Misinterpretation of physician’s orders by nursing staff can negatively influence patient safety. A possible solution and a way to eliminate this wasteful practice is to introduce written orders in the form of notes that can be used by any staff member.

Written orders will help to avoid misconceptions and mistreatment of orders. As related to the definition of quality, the suggested intervention is likely to increase efficiency of care positively influencing safety and improving patient outcomes. These problems can be revealed due to regular quality assessment. Finding solutions for diverse practice problems will contribute to an overall increase of healthcare quality and, as a result, patient satisfaction.


Generally speaking, the concept of quality is crucial for healthcare. Only high quality service can provide efficient timely care for every individual and contribute to an increase of safety and improvement of patient outcomes. Moreover, the major aspects of healthcare need constant improvement to meet the growing and changing health needs.


Ayanian, J., & Markel, H. (2016). . New England Journal of Medicine, 375(3), 205-207. Web.

Kleinman, L., & Dougherty, D. (2013). Assessing quality improvement in health care: Theory for practice. Pediatrics, 131(Supplement 1), S110-S119. Web.

Spath, P. (2013). Introduction to healthcare quality management (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.

Yoder-Wise, P. S. (2015). Leading and managing in nursing (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.

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