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What is Quality Improvement?
Quality improvement (QI) consists of systematic and continuous actions that lead to measurable improvement in health care services and the health status of targeted patient groups.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) defines quality in health care as a direct correlation between the level of improved health services and the desired health outcomes of individuals and populations....
The combined and unceasing efforts of everyone—healthcare professionals, patients and their families, researchers, payers, planners and educators—to make the changes that will lead to better patient outcomes (health), better system performance (care) and better professional development...improvement involves a substantial shift in our idea of the work of healthcare, a challenging task that can benefit from the use of a wide variety of tools and methods.
Quality management includes: staff who are adequately trained and mentored (see chapter 9, Human Resources); using the 5 Ss to improve the physical work environment (see chapter 5, Infrastructure); special quality procedures for lab tests (see chapter 8, Laboratory); and well functioning patient monitoring systems (see chapter 6, Monitoring). ...Methods of improving the quality of care described in this chapter focus on common key processes and functions in the clinic, and how they link together to achieve desired outcomes.