Why Quality Matters

African American Family

Many experts have sought to define health quality. The simplest definition comes from considering what it means for you as a patient:

  • You can access and receive the right care for your condition, in the right place, the first time.
  • Your health care providers communicate with you in ways you understand, and involve you in making decisions about your care.
  • Your care does not result in avoidable complications like infections, falls or unnecessary hospital readmissions.  

In spite of the skill and effort of dedicated health care providers, sometimes there are breakdowns in processes for delivering care. Quality Innovation Network-QIOs (QIN-QIOs) address those problems by helping providers implement evidence-based best practices for improving those processes. For example, QIN-QIOs help busy hospital staff create recommended schedules for removing urinary catheters before they cause dangerous infections for patients. QIN-QIOs then work with providers to make sure the new processes become standard practices.

“First, health is a human right. Health is a sense of well-being that enables me to contribute to society and to my community. So much needs fixing in our society today, and I want to help. If I’m in pain, I’m not able to add this meaning to my life.”

- Carola, 96-year-old physician and patient living independently