What is Quality?

February's Family Medicine had a great paper on the seventh element of quality: the doctor-patient relationship.

Key message:

The characteristics of quality are:

  • Effective Based on scientific knowledge to all who could benefit and refraining from providing services to those not likely to benefit (avoiding underuse and overuse)
  • Patient centered Respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions
  • Timely Avoiding unnecessary waits and sometimes harmful delays for both those who receive and those who give care
  • Efficient Avoiding waste, in particular waste of equipment, supplies, ideas, and energy
  • Equitable Without inappropriate variations that are attributable to personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, geographic location, or socioeconomic status
  • Safe Avoiding injuries to patients from the care that is intended to help them
  • Relationships  Sharing meaningful therapeutic interactions with patients and other members of the health care team