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Quality assessment is being adapted as a method for buyers, patients, and providers to evaluate health care expenditure. To this end, necessary advancements have been made towards the science of quality assessment over the past years. However, several challenges continue to be addressed so that quality assessment can achieve its ability as a counterforce to the demands of cost containment. Some of the challenges encountered during quality assessment include; Identifying and balancing the competing perspectives of main participant in the health care system, developing an accountability framework, establishing the best criteria by which the performance of the healthcare will be judged, selecting routine reporting indicators, conflicts between financial and non-financial incentives and quality care objectives, and developing information systems needed for quality monitoring.
Several methods have been used to measure health care quality. These include; assessing the appropriateness of an intervention which indicates the effectiveness of the intervention, examining the level at which care given parallels health guidelines and standards, practice profiling which compares patterns of cost, utilization and quality processes among providers in accordance with pre-established standards, and Process assessment in which interpersonal health care quality can be evaluated by consumer ratings which consists of both received care and its satisfaction (MClellan,2013).
Baldrige Excellence Framework for Health Care helps organizations in assessing their management performance. This framework acknowledges goals such as customer satisfaction and employees involvement. Through customer satisfaction quality can be achieved without increasing cost. This is possible in the following ways; reducing quality issues that arise due to consumer dissatisfaction, reducing cost without compromising service quality and rising customer expectations by providing services they view as of high value (Nolan & Bisognano 2006
MClellan, M. B. (2013). Improving Health Care Quality: The Path Forward. Center for Health Policy (ed.). Brookings Institution: http://www. brookings. Edu/research/testimony/2013/06/26-improving-health-care-quality-mcclellan: Congressional Testimony
Nolan, T., & Bisognano, M. (2006). Finding the balance between quality and cost: what’s the answer to improving the value of health care? One group believes hospitals could take a lesson from Japanese quality expert Noriaki Kano. Healthcare Financial Management, 60(4), 66-73.
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