When discussing quality, it is of utmost importance to define what is the most crucial aspect to the consumer. Quality can either be about the experience, the product, or both. Quality to me is the product being free of defects, the use of quality resources, and all for the lowest price. How this translates to quality health care is timely and accurate results, low cost, no unnecessary tests, and knowledgeable providers. If my concern is about a warm blanket, most modern exam room, and friendliest staff, then my definition of quality is more about customer service. Unfortunately, the quality of healthcare includes customer service, which complicates defining what quality healthcare is.
In examining the quality theorists, the philosophy of Deming seems the most practical and congruent with my definition of quality. Deming believed that the organization’s primary aim should focus on quality, which is a factor of reducing costs and continuously improving the processes (Monnappa, 2019). As a result, customer satisfaction will improve, staff will be happier, and costs over time will decrease. This philosophy evolved into the Deming or PDSA cycle, which is frequently used as a method of quality improvement (Spath, 2018). An essential feature of this model is that it is dynamic, always looking to improve, and simple to implement.
A practice problem that I see in my work involves how various injuries are classified and how that translates into increased costs. Currently, any patient that comes in with a fall or injury gets charted as a “trauma evaluation.” Charting a trauma evaluation generates a higher level of care and, thus, a higher charge. This is wasteful, and while it generates more significant revenue, it is unnecessary as it increases the costs of healthcare. This is the current practice; a practice change would involve only charting a trauma evaluation for patients who meet strict criteria. My definition of quality extends to this problem by reducing unnecessary costs. Charting a trauma evaluation does not change the patient’s care, therefore eliminating this practice would help to mitigate rising healthcare costs without affecting patient care or safety.