One of the primary arguments for a QA Program is that there is a concern for ensuring that health services are both cost-effective and responsive to public needs. However, other health care professionals believe that QA Programs are necessary to protect patients while under care in a health facility.

1.Which of the two statements above do you believe is the most important for patients?
2.What can we do to assure that both quality care and cost-effective programs are in place?

Understanding Healthcare Quality:

According to AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)

Research has shown that science-based measures can be used to assess quality for various conditions and for specific types of care. For example, quality health care is:
•Doing the right thing (getting the health care services you need).
•In the right way (using the appropriate test or procedure).
•To achieve the best possible results.

Providing quality health care also means striking the right balance of services by:
•Avoiding underuse (for example, not screening a person for high blood pressure.
•Avoiding overuse (for example, performing tests that a patient doesn’t need).
•Eliminating misuse (for example, providing medications that may have dangerous interactions).

The National Healthcare Quality Report and the National Healthcare Disparities Report present important information about the state of health care in America. These reports indicate that:
•Quality is improving in many areas, but change takes time.
•The gap between the best possible care and actual care remains large.
•Quality of care varies widely across the country.
•Continuing improvement in health care is possible.

Challenges in Healthcare
•In healthcare compliance, quality assurance programs serve as the middlemen between regulating authorities and the health care organizations. Consequently, quality assurance staff are commonly viewed as being the bearers of bad news, especially when it comes to enforcing new mandatory policies. Quality assurance staff may also experience barriers or challenges, such as being met with resistance when it comes to enforcing departments to create performance improvement projects. The bottom line is that quality assurance programs do not intend to create more work for the healthcare organization. They are just trying to monitor the compliance.

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