focuses on the patient. The Maine Quality
Forum and the Maine Quality Forum
Advisory Council have adopted this definition
of high quality health care promoted by the
National Academies of Science Health and Medicine Division. This definition breaks quality
into key component parts.
- Patient-centered – providing
care that is respectful of and responsive
to individual patient preferences, needs,
and values and ensuring that patient values
guide all clinical decisions.
- Effective – providing
services based on scientific knowledge to
all who could benefit and refraining from
providing services to those not likely to
benefit (avoiding both underuse and overuse
of medical procedures).
- Timely – reducing waits
and sometimes harmful delays for both those
who receive and those who give care.·
- Safe – avoiding injuries
to patients from the care intended to help
- Efficient – avoiding
waste, including waste of equipment, supplies,
ideas, and energy.
- Equitable – providing
care that does not vary in quality because
of personal characteristics such as gender,
ethnicity, geographic location, and socioeconomic
Types of quality
To achieve a clearer understanding of quality
health care, it is helpful to understand characteristics
of quality within the categories of service
quality and clinical quality.
is the term to describe the characteristics
of care such as waiting times, ease of physical
access, pleasant staff and clean comfortable
surroundings. Service quality also includes
such things as cleanliness of your hospital
room and respectfulness of the person who
draws your blood.
is the term used to describe such things as
prescribing the correct medications, performing
surgery as safely and appropriately as possible
and involving the patient fully in their own
care. It includes attributes such as the accuracy
of a laboratory test, operating on the correct
leg and providing enough information so that
you understand your health risks or medical