Quality Health Care
Quality Health Care
Definitions of the quality of medical care are no longer left to clinicians who decide for themselves what technical performance constitutes “good care.” What are the other dimensions of quality care and why are they important? What has changed since the days when “doctor knows best?”
2. Quality in medical care may be defined as achieving the greatest benefit at the lowest risk. How have the priorities of our health care system and the allocation of resources addressed this goal?
3. Contrast the definitions of implicit and explicit criteria in assessing health care quality. How is each type of criterion useful in quality assessment?
Each response should be 500-1000 words
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Quality Health Care
Other dimensions of quality care that have changed in the recent past are such as costs and patient participation. The two dimensions largely contribute to the provision and delivery of quality health care. Firstly, the costs associated with quality care have immensely changed in recent times and the global populations have opted for a low-price perspective, unlike the doctors who have always aligned quality with increased costs.
Of course, the quality improvement initiative comes with a certain cost, but this is considered insignificant by the patients since the government is always accountable for such national health expenses. Therefore, integrating the quality improvement practices to the quality care function, one would denote that good care is subject to low costs.
As medical history literature asserts, physicians and other misinformed individuals have always considered quality care to be a subject to increased health care service fee. The notion is strongly embedded in the sense that the more a patient is willing to pay in exchange for physician’s medical assistance, the better are the health care services offered in return.
However, current medical reports have challenged the aforementioned perspective. The more the health care practices are inclined to employ EBP (evidence-based practice) in nursing practice, the less costly are the services in return. The idea here under emphasis is that the cost dimension of quality care has changed from increased cost to low cost as the quality is improved. The importance of this dimension is that it creates a patient protective practice in relation to health care service charges. The dimension fights patient exploitation by nurses in the name of quality care.
On the other hand, patient participation is another dimension of quality care that has exhibited some tremendous changes in the current nursing medical practice. Historically, patients were regarded as naïve subjects within health care systems who specifically relied on the decisions and efforts made by the physicians for treatment purposes and health recovery.
They were considered as ‘spectators’ who had no contribution to their health and health recovery practices. The quality of care could only be measured from the physician perspective since these were the only people who had an opinion as well as making the final decision about the quality level of the care provided to a given group of patients.
However, this culture has been completely changed by the transitional medical research. Patients are currently being considered as primary participants whose opinions, suggestions and preferences in health care help practitioners make sound decisions about the best practices in healthcare. A quality care is nowadays considered as that one which is inclusive of patient’s health preferences.
Therefore, one would say that the patient participation dimension of quality care has completely changed and they are now acting as the central focal point upon which all clinical decisions are founded. The importance of this dimension is that it helps in forming a collaborative working relationship between a patient and practitioners within the health care context.
The era when doctors were regarded as the only people who knows the best has been completely overtaken by multidimensional healthcare knowledge acquisition. During this particular era, the physicians were regarded as learned people who were the only subjects good in health care practices for they had prior knowledge and training on the same.
The rest of the global population was considered as non-participants for they knew nothing about the best practices and choices in health care. However, this medical culture has been replaced by the aforementioned multidimensional healthcare knowledge acquisition platform, which entails the collection of vital medical information from different sources besides the doctors.
All this transition in medical practice has been primarily propelled by the prevalent practices on public health education, which has overwhelmingly educated the public on the various aspects and elements of health care. Therefore, majority of the patients have been well-informed on health care procedures and thus, the doctor has very little to offer in relation to care provision. Hence, the ‘doctor knows best’ era can be said to have pushed out of existence by the multidimensional healthcare knowledge acquisition platform, which is a subject to public health education.
The health systems priorities have always been aligned with health care organizational goals in order to attain high quality care while minimizing the risks associated with it. Health care institutions have been on the forefront in ensuring that quality care has been achieved in the care administering processes while reducing the costs and risks underlying such practices.
Therefore, a number of health care system priorities have been emphasized and largely advocated for so that quality care can be dispensed at the lowest risks possible. Below is a discussion of some of the health care system priorities which have been deployed in addressing the aforementioned health practice on quality improvement at lowest risks ever.
The quality care provision is a health initiative that cannot be tackled by a single entity or rather the health care institutions alone. It requires collaboration between the government-certified primary health care facilities and other agencies in the community which have missions resembling and aligned to those of the former health facilities.
The community sets the foundation upon which early medical intervention and prevention and treatment are provided prior to being referred to larger health facilities for acute care. Therefore, it would be wise enough for the health care institutions to collaborate with community providers so that they may come up with the best practices towards providing quality care while minimizing the risks and costs (Robinson, 2011).
Hence, one could say that making collaboration a health care priority has enabled health care institutions to provide quality health care at reduced risks since this practice has provided vital knowledge on the factors causing the health issues at the grass root level. Providing health care from such a perspective enables practitioners to plan on the best procedures of offering quality care with reduced risks for they are aware what uncertainties might befall their way of nursing practice.
The practice of making the patients participate in their healthcare can be said to have largely contributed in the process of providing quality care at reduced risks. This is because the engagement allows the practitioners to learn on the patient culture, traditions, principles, preferences, and any desires they might hold concerning their health.
Therefore, this in turn helps the healthcare providers avoid any risks that may arise due to prevalence of ethical dilemmas presented by the patients. Factoring the patient engagement in health care delivery systems would ensure that quality care is offered at the lowest costs and risks possible since the practitioner would have pre-planned risk mitigation and prevention strategies which are primarily developed with accordance to patient preferences, opinions and suggestions concerning their healthcare.
Addressing the Funding Crisis facing NHS
A lot of risks associated with dissemination of quality care are strongly rooted in funds insufficiency. The quality improvement initiative comes with increased budgetary allocations that every healthcare facility has to incur in order to realize the intended change. Therefore, the smaller the budget allocations conceded for quality care, the more the risks that might emerge in the process (insolvency, bad debt, inadequate purchase of resources).
Thus, the financial efforts that have been put forward towards addressing the funds crisis in health care institutions can be said to have promoted the provision of quality care at a much reduced risks’ level.
Resource allocation has also played a major role in addressing risks reduction in the context of quality care. Health care managers have exhibited recurrent trends that are inclined to allocate more health care resources to the areas which seen to face an increased number of risks. This action has been implemented with an aim of providing enough and additional funds and other resources necessary to mitigate any risks prevalent in the featured areas of health care. Therefore, with adequate resource allocation to those areas facing more uncertainties, the practitioners have been able to disseminate quality care at reduced risks.
Arguing from a definitional perspective, one would describe explicit criteria as that method that clearly and directly states the actual situation or condition of a given topic. This type of criteria ensures that there is no room for uncertainties. An explicit criterion provides a direct assessment of the situation or condition under review/analysis by stating the facts which leave no room uncertainties (Kirsner, Speelman, Maybery, Malone & Anderson, 2013).
On the other hand, an implicit criterion has its description inclined to pose an implication. This type of criteria presents an indirect description of the real situation by just implying. It is more like arguing from a speculation perspective. Integrating the above definitions of the two terms to health care quality assessment, this would mean that there would be contradicting criteria specifications on the same. Below is a table showing the contrast between explicit and implicit criteria of assessing health care quality.
|Explicit criteria||Implicit Criteria|
|– The assessment of health care quality would encompass direct description and linking of the quality aspects.
– The assessment presented here has to be reflective of the actual conditions of the health care quality levels that are currently implemented.
– The assessment would be evidence-supported or factual.
– The criteria has finite and precise clear requirements that define quality health care
|– This criterion would encompass an indirect implication of the healthcare quality elements and aspects.
– Here the integration and relation presented by the criteria would only be founded on speculation.
– The assessment would have no facts to support the assertions but only be founded on personal instincts.
– This criterion has unclear complex definition of the health care quality requirements.
Importance of Explicit Criteria on Healthcare Quality Assessment
This type of health care quality assessment criterion is of significance in that it discloses the actual situation and condition of the current health care quality levels without leaving any factor out. This method is inclusive of all dimensions of quality health care such that there is no a single chance for unforeseen descriptive information that relates to healthcare quality is left unturned.
This criterion is more suitable for quality assessment since it give the real picture of what the nursing practice has achieved in terms of healthcare quality. It is a more detailed method of assessment that exposes all the necessary requirements for a given care to be regarded as quality.
Importance of implicit Criteria on Healthcare Quality Assessment
This assessment criterion is considered as important since it sets a limit beyond which one cannot describe something since they are not sure of what they assert. The method allows a range of speculation about the health care quality dimensions. The use of this assessment criterion is beneficial in the sense that it makes the description of the of the quality requirements to be aligned with generalizations perspectives.
The method is better in that it does not narrow down to specifics, but ensures an indirect relation definition so that all relevant information is included in the assessment procedures.
Kirsner, K., Speelman, C., Maybery, M., Malone, A. & Anderson, M. (2013). Implicit and Explicit Mental Processes. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.
Robinson, S. (2011). Setting priorities in health : a study of English primary care trusts. London: Nuffield Trust.
Also check: Public Health Efforts