I have appreciated all of the posts in this Quality discussion but wanted to comment on Venus Mushininga’s post about what quality means, because it especially resonated with me. She wrote, “Often quality assessment tools we have developed and used just consider the perspective of the service provider from a technical perspective. Yet in my opinion, the customer (patient) experience and patient outcome provide the ultimate measures of whether quality is central in our health delivery system or not.”
Examining patient experience of care (as well as provider experience of care!) are as important as compliance with technical standards and may have even more impact on patient adherence to treatment and outcomes.
Our quality strategies must go beyond promoting and measuring compliance with standards to address the human dynamic between providers and patients — communication, empathy, behavioral incentives — as well as the engagement of broader community stakeholders in improving care. As Venus noted, this “will require a change of mindset, a paradigm shift … in all areas that make up a health system” and changing patient and community expectations about the care they receive, especially in public facilities, to create a stronger demand for quality and accountability mechanisms to hold providers and managers to account if these expectations are not met.
HIFA profile: Lani Rice Marquez works with the University Research Company and is based in USA. Interests: Quality improvement, knowledge management. Extensive experience with technical writing and editing and facilitation of webinars and peer-to-peer learning activities. She is a member of the WHO-HIFA Catalyst Group on Learning for quality health services.
lmarquez AT urc-chs.com