Domains of Quality

We can be sure to look at health care quality comprehensively if we consider the many facets of health care quality. The IOM described health care quality as care that is:

  • Safe — avoiding injuries to patients from care that is intended to help them
  • Timely — reducing waits and sometimes harmful delays
  • Effective — providing services based on scientific knowledge and refraining from services not likely to benefit
  • Patient centered — providing care that is respectful or responsive to individuals’ needs
  • Efficient — avoiding waste
  • Equitable — providing care that does not vary regardless of personal characteristics
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