*Quality - What does quality of care mean to you?*
*Parsing the meaning and making the case for quality of care*
*-- Tomislav Meštrović, May 28 2021*
An improved understanding of quality of care is an indispensable step not only to improve patient-centered outcomes, but also to enhance healthcare quality research and public health initiatives. Without a clear meaning of what quality of care actually represents, basically all quality improvement schemes are destined to be fragmented, or even ineffective. Hence, we have to strive to transform a sort of abstract phenomenon into a framework that can be theoretical to start with, yet testable. Such conceptualization of quality of health services is something that this new thematic discussion aims to achieve, and I envision it will enable easier measurement of quality indicators, as well as the appraisal of its interconnectedness with other salient concepts within the healthcare environment. Each individual attribute which will get profiled in our discussions may serve as a guide to develop theory or to test existing theories in future research.
As we will probably observe as the discussion unfolds, the meaning of healthcare quality can differ, especially considering our diverse vantage points. For me, quality of care means that the care is provided to the patient when there is a need for it in an effective, safe and affordable manner (therefore, as a follow-up to Oriane's post, I am in the group that gives emphasis to the patient experience). It also means patients are involved and engaged, so that they can take ownership of their own health. Furthermore, quality of care means that harms are minimized as much as possible during care delivery, and that communities are involved in ensuring best practices of healthy living. In any case, we should all strive to understand that quality of care is more than just a popular catch-phrase - it is something to strive for as a key ingredient of modern health care.
HIFA profile: Tomislav Mestrovic is a medical doctor and a clinical microbiologist with a PhD in biomedical sciences, and an Assistant Professor at Croatia's youngest public university, University North. He is also passionately invested in global health communication, health literacy, science journalism and science diplomacy. Tomislav was appointed by the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia as a Managing Committee Member to COST Action on evidence-based medicine run by the European Union. He holds several positions in international societies that resulted in many volunteering initiatives. Tomislav is the current holder of the HIFA Country Representative of the Year award (2020) and is also the European coordinator for HIFA Country Representatives. Email address: Email address: email@example.com