Week 6 Quality Forum Post Reply

Hello everyone,

I found this article which caught my attention about healthcare quality and safety.

This article examines the need for quality and safety improvement programs in healthcare and how flawed systems and processes, as opposed to human mistakes, account for the bulk of medical mishaps. The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) six goals for healthcare—effectiveness, safety, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency, and equity—are also highlighted in the article. The article then goes into a number of process-improvement methods that have been employed to raise the standard and safety of healthcare, including failure modes and effects analysis, Plan-Do-Study-Act, Six Sigma, Lean, and root-cause analysis. Overall, the article offers insightful information about the significance of healthcare quality improvement and various tactics that can be used to accomplish this aim.

This is straight from the article which I found helpful information as it talks about Six Sigma, Lean, root cause analysis, and many other strategies to improve quality and safety in healthcare.

”The necessity for quality and safety improvement initiatives permeates health care.1, 2 Quality health care is defined as “the degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge”3 (p. 1161). According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, To Err Is Human,4 the majority of medical errors result from faulty systems and processes, not individuals. Processes that are inefficient and variable, changing case mix of patients, health insurance, differences in provider education and experience, and numerous other factors contribute to the complexity of health care. With this in mind, the IOM also asserted that today’s healthcare industry functions at a lower level than it can and should, and it put forth the following six aims of healthcare: effective, safe, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable.2 The aims of effectiveness and safety are targeted through process-of-care measures, assessing whether providers of health care perform processes that have been demonstrated to achieve the desired aims and avoid those processes that are predisposed toward harm. The goals of measuring health care quality are to determine the effects of health care on desired outcomes and to assess the degree to which health care adheres to processes based on scientific evidence or agreed to by professional consensus and is consistent with patient preferences.
Because errors are caused by system or process failures,5 it is important to adopt various process-improvement techniques to identify inefficiencies, ineffective care, and preventable errors to then influence changes associated with systems. Each of these techniques involves assessing performance and using findings to inform change. This chapter will discuss strategies and tools for quality improvement—including failure modes and effects analysis, Plan-Do-Study-Act, Six Sigma, Lean, and root-cause analysis—that have been used to improve the quality and safety of health care”.