1). Is the emphasis on quality and safety a truly new issue? What were the mechanisms of evaluation and improvement prior to 2001? How might the force of rising expectations play into the near-obsession over quality?How hard is the data that initiated this official and public concern?
2). Are quality and safety equivalent issues in health care? How might you define each with their similarities and differences? Are the Berwick principles (the “aims for improvement” in Crossing the Quality Chasm) sufficient standards for determining quality of care? Who decides?Which is preferable: private sector methods of quality measurement, government influence and/or intervention, both?
3).Investigate one example of private sector groups and government and international agencies that are devoted to the question of quality in health care? How do they approach their “mandates?”Are they primarily educational, coercive, helpful?
Over the last decade it has been popular to write about the failings of the health care industry and to propose methods of improving it. Significant well-intentioned efforts by many people have addressed many issues, and millions of health care “transactions” annually continue to occur in relative peace. Business and scientific decisions and directions should be based on facts and their proper interpretation, i.e., evidence. Where are we in this complex journey?
Consider and discuss eachof the following:
1. How is quality of health care measured?
2. Is health care delivery and its associated quality described by a bell-shaped (or geometric?) curve or by yes-no evaluations?
3. Where might the line be drawn between acceptable and unacceptable, when it comes to levels of quality? Has this been done effectively anywhere?
4. Has there been demonstrable improvement in health care delivery since To Err is Human and Quality Chasm? What is the data?
The paper should have a thesis about the issue raised by each question and several (three to four) supporting ideas. Recall that each supporting idea should be the topic of one paragraph, at least. Counter-arguments may be considered supportive; they should be explained and, if appropriate, refuted. A brief introduction and a brief conclusion (containing no new information) are required.
A paper, written in formal style, with citations and references per APA standards, and of approximately 800-900 words is the assignment. Graphics may be used if they improve clarity of your points.
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