Ensuring Quality in Healthcare

Recall the last time you sought consult in a clinic. Were you satisfied with the service you received? Were your needs fulfilled?

Increasingly, these questions matter, in personalized clinical medicine, as well as in public health. These are questions that highlight the importance of health care quality.

The World Health Organization enumerates six domains of health care quality: safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency, and equity. Notwithstanding the importance of each of these domains, not all of these domains are given equal importance in low-resource settings, either due to supply-side challenges (e.g. lack of manpower, medicines, or an ill-equipped facility) or demand-side challenges (e.g. patient inability to pay, lack of health insurance coverage).

The continuing challenge in achieving “health for all” lies not only on the requirement to provide health services to all, but to ensure that these services satisfy patient needs and result in improved health outcomes. This issue is normally associated with managing national or global health interventions, but the need for health quality is likewise felt in running hospitals, specialty clinics and primary care centers.

In this Saturday’s #HealthXPh, we will try to identify situations that compromise health care quality from the demand side and the supply side, and explore strategies that can bridge these identified gaps. Thus, we will ask these questions:

Q1. In your setting, what issues have affected your facility’s capacity for quality health care?

Q2. In your setting, what patient-related issues impede their access to quality health care?

Q3. What strategies can be implemented in your setting to improve health care quality?

See you this Saturday, January 14, 9PM Philippine Time (GMT +8), 8AM US Eastern Standard Time at our #HealthXPh tweetchat!

Reference:

World Health Organization. (2006). Quality of care: a process for making strategic choices in health systems. Retrieved from: http://www.who.int/management/quality/assurance/QualityCare_B.Def.pdf?ua=1