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Are Quality Assurance Programs Necessary?

Roberto Vuittonet

I believe that Programs are necessary to protect patients while under care in a health facility. Unlike other professions, quality healthcare is more important than cost effectiveness. In the US alone, there are more than 98,000 deaths annually due to medical errors. These errors are either human or systematic forcing significant amount of projects, protocol and legislation to address such issues. In other industries quality has also become a priority with companies developing customer oriented strategies (McGlynn et al., 2003). Customers today have more choice in health facilities, therefore health institutions need a lot more than cost to ensure patient satisfaction. Despite the importance of quality in healthcare, it is important to ensure that services are both cost effective. Medicare since its inception has largely prioritized quality. However, there are fears that the increasing cost may affect its ability to ensure quality and safety.

There are approaches if properly implemented can help ensure both quality and cost effective programs. First, it is important to ensure that unnecessary administrative duties are eliminated from healthcare. This means that the system needs eliminate defragmentation. For example, the UK and Canada have successfully implemented unified systems that have better quality and are more cost effective than the US (Friedberg, Hussey & Schneider, 2010). The other alternative involves the implementation of preventive based strategies. Evidence shows that prevention is far cheaper than treatment. For example, diabetes and heart diseases are some of the most expensive diseases to manage but can be prevented with simple steps such as proper nutrition and exercise. These two steps can help guarantee that health programs ensure quality care but are financially viable.

References

Friedberg, M. W., Hussey, P. S., & Schneider, E. C. (2010). Primary care: a critical review of the evidence on quality and costs of health care. Health Affairs29(5), 766-772.

McGlynn, E. A., Asch, S. M., Adams, J., Keesey, J., Hicks, J., DeCristofaro, A., & Kerr, E. A. (2003). The quality of health care delivered to adults in the United States. New England journal of medicine348(26), 2635-2645.

Ryan Cerritos

If forced to decide whether a Quality Assurance (QA) program is more important from a cost-effective (i.e., beneficial to the firm) or patient aspect, moral inclination will always side with the patient. After all, what other purpose do institutions, providers, and government regulators associated with the healthcare industry have then to serve and meet the medical needs of consumers? Nevertheless, both aspects are critical, and work in tandem to establish and maintain an effective and sustainable QA program.

The question that pertains to which aspect of quality is more important is a question of quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC). While used interchangeably, QA & QC actually denote two different aspects of quality management (Quality, n.d). QA refers to the portion of quality management that focuses on providing confidence that outside quality requirements can be fulfilled (Quality, n.d). Here the firm is primarily concerned with appeasing the needs of those outside the firm, to include customers, regulators, the government, and even other firms. This includes everything associated with executing a quality system that provides confidence and fulfills external requirements (Quality, n.d). QC, on the other hand, is defined as the part of quality management that is focused on fulfilling quality requirements (Quality, n.d). While QA is externally focused, QC is instead focused on inspection, and denotes all the operational techniques, procedures, standards, and requirements needed to meet external quality requirements (Quality, n.d). As such, this portion of quality management greatly affects costs and efficiency.

When it comes to overall quality management, both aspects, QA & QC, need to be addressed to create an all-encompassing quality program that meets external and internal needs. To do this, realistic and attainable based objectives need to be set (10 Easy, n.d). This includes setting objectives that meet external requirements. The firm must also set benchmarks that allow them to measure progress and accuracy. This includes the development of key performance indicators (KPI), those that allow the firm to obtain feedback from their quality management system, and make changes as needed (10 Easy, n.d). Finally, firms must assign accountability (10 Easy, n.d). This includes developing and establishing positions and departments whose sole concern is quality management.

References

10 Easy Steps to Quality Management System Compliance. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cebos.com/blog/10-easy-steps-to-quality-management-system-compliance/

Quality Control & Quality Assurance. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://asq.org/quality-resources/quality-assurance-vs-control

Susan Flores 

Professor and classmates,

Which of two statements above do you believe is the most important for patients? I believe that the statement that says QA is import for protecting patient while in a facility. Many people think of quality care as a large umbrella where patient can be safe (Mitchell, 2008). The Institute of Medicine feel that safety is the same with good quality care (Mitchell, 2008). 

What can we do to ensure high-quality care and also reduce care? When reviewing articles I found a 4 step program to ensure quality  assurance in healthcare. The first step is pick a steering committee (Clark, 2014). This committee will evaluate policies and procedure, make recommendations and set goals. The second step is spreading the work about the quality improvement and get others to buy into the idea. Third is to evaluate the t  findings.  This could be done by looking at patient survey. The fourth and final step is to make corrective action to improving on patient safety (Clark, 2017). In regards to cost effectiveness using electronic medicals records could make sure that all cost are capture for each patent.

                                                                                        References

Clark, J. (2017). 4 Steps for an Effective Healthcare  Quality Assurance program. Retrieved on 5/5/2019 from https;//www.gebaur.com/blog/healthcare-quality-assurance-program

Mitchell, P. (2008). Defining Patient Safety and Quality Care. Retrieved on 5/5/2109 from https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2681/


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