When it comes to public health, quality improvement is vital. According to Kane, Moran Armbruster, Quality Improvement Plan refer to a continuous means of achieving improvements that are measurable when it comes to performance, efficiency, accountability and the quality of services necessary for a particular community requires in order to improve the health of the population. A good Quality Improvement Plan incorporates the processes put into place to ensure there is consistency in the quality delivered by the public health stakeholders (Kane, Moran & Armbruster, 2010). Being an integrative process, the Quality Improvement Plan requires constant revision so as to reflect on the achieved accomplishments, the organizational concern’s that have changed and the lessons one has learned in relation to the Public Health Department (Kane, Moran & Armbruster, 2010).
Foundational frameworks of Quality Improvement, QI
A framework is defined as a tool used to organize an organization’s perspective about the quality of health care (Meisenheimer, 2007). According to Meisenheimer (2007), a Quality Improvement framework is built upon more than one existing framework and these frameworks are determined by the focus provided in improving certain health care aspects including the rate at which a patient waits in order to get treated, the performance levels depending on the nursing care, and the rate at which immunization programs are conducted. These health care frameworks, which have been developed, include the Chronic Care Model. Another health care framework is HIVQUAL, which is responsible for improving the quality of HIV services rendered and supported by the HIV and AIDS bureau (Minkman, Vermeulen, Ahaus, & Huijsman, 2011).
Different definition of the quality of care of various health care stakeholders
Different health care stakeholders have various approaches regarding the quality of care. These approaches in the end transform into unusual evaluations of quality services provided. Stakeholders in the mental health care, which is one primary area, have diverse perceptions about the quality of health care. Even though this area of study does not require adequate research regarding the quality and stringent measures put into place, the diversity of views determines the rate at which the members determine the quality provided (Campbell, Shield, Rogers & Gask, 2004). One method used to define the quality of health care is consensus panel methods. These methods are useful in developing the quality measures in cases where the evidence produced becomes diverse and non conclusive (Campbell, Shield, Rogers & Gask, 2004). The other method is by means of a consensus panel. In this panel, each stakeholder including individual panelists and the panel members have different perceptions regarding this method of defining the quality of health care. This means there is no extensive research regarding the dynamics of this system thus the judgments of the stakeholders becomes hindered (Campbell, Shield, Rogers & Gask, 2004)
Roles of clinicians and patients in QI
Clinicians have a vital role in the implementation of a QI. This is because they are responsible for taking care of the patients and are responsible for improving the levels of health care at local and regional levels (Kongstvedt, 2012). In order to have an effect on a quality QI, clinicians ought to form better alliances with other stakeholders and adequate support in terms of infrastructure, learning programs and strong teams at the local level in order to improve the quality. Engaging clinicians working in every aspect of the health care and supporting them boost their morale thus enabling them to tackle their responsibility for excellent progression in clinical care at ease (Kongstvedt, 2012).
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Patients have several roles in the improvement of a QI plan. One role is to ensure their safety while being attended to by the clinicians. This ensures the health care staff becomes quite active in serving the patients thereby reducing the rates of morbidity (Kongstvedt, 2012). The other role of the patient is to be at the forefront in advocating for good public reporting. Being good citizens, patients and clinicians ought to be responsible and accountable for everything they do and in the end; the performance of the health system and the hospital improves (Kongstvedt, 2012). By working together with the clinicians, the patients make sure that health care organizations improve the quality of services and safety of the organization.
Why is quality management needed in the health care industry?
One advantage of a good quality management is the fact that the patient health care is improved (Kane, Moran & Armbruster, 2010). The improved outcomes extend to include a decrease in mortality and morbidity rates, and an increase in the provision of the recommended screening facilities. The costs of failures, poor outcomes and errors become minimal as the quality management improves. The previous high costs incurred because of nonstandard systems reduce greatly because less expensive and reliable processes have been put into place (Kane, Moran & Armbruster, 2010). The other importance of a good QI in the health care is the improvement of communication systems. This means communication improves with the resources available both within the organization and outside the organization (Kane, Moran & Armbruster, 2010). A successfully implemented QI plan boosts good communication and aids in resolving critical issues.
What areas must be monitored for quality?
One of the areas that require monitoring for attainment of quality is the public health care sectors. This includes hospitals both private and public, the regulatory bodies, and the local public health care system.
Regulatory and Accrediting associations involved in QI and their roles
The National Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the Federal and State Regulatory Framework and the Public Health Accreditation Board are professional bodies found in America responsible for ensuring quality of health care is accomplished (O’Leary, 2000). The role of the regulatory bodies is to set the basic standards that address the most important functions of an organization and ensure compliance with the standards. These functions include patient assessment, and the use of medication. The health regulatory bodies also encourage the health institutions to comply with their regulations by awarding of accreditation (O’Leary, 2000). An organization with good outcomes is reflected in the standards as opposed to one without good outcomes. The Public Health Accreditation Board is responsible for writing the stringent measures and standards, used to create and sustain the quality of improved health benefits (Kane, Moran & Armbruster, 2010). The PHAB is also responsible for updating, writing and the implementation of a sound Quality Improvement Plan to be used by a health department. The plan alongside the relevant health department’s rules and regulations provides a guide in to aid in implementing a sound and strategic plan (Kane, Moran & Armbruster, 2010).
Helpful resources and organizations that affect QI
While operating a health care, coming up with a list of practical resource guides would assist in ensuring quality improvement. The Physician Quality Reporting Initiative Toolkit is handy especially in assisting to come up with reports. It consists of preexisting educational resource materials and step by step worksheets that are designed to guide the user through the reporting process (Kongstvedt, 2012). The Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality, AHRQ provides specified quality health care information for each unique state, which aims at helping state officials understand the quality and disparities of health care within their states (Kongstvedt, 2012). A good AHRQ includes the strengths, opportunities for development and weaknesses of a particular state’s health care.
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