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Defining Quality Health Care

Quality focuses on the patient. The Maine Quality Forum and the Maine Quality Forum Advisory Council have adopted this definition of high quality health care promoted by the National Academies of Science Health and Medicine Division. This definition breaks quality into key component parts.

  • Patient-centered � providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.

  • Effective � providing services based on scientific knowledge to all who could benefit and refraining from providing services to those not likely to benefit (avoiding both underuse and overuse of medical procedures).

  • Timely � reducing waits and sometimes harmful delays for both those who receive and those who give care.·

  • Safe � avoiding injuries to patients from the care intended to help them.

  • Efficient � avoiding waste, including waste of equipment, supplies, ideas, and energy.

  • Equitable � providing care that does not vary in quality because of personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, geographic location, and socioeconomic status.

Types of quality

To achieve a clearer understanding of quality health care, it is helpful to understand characteristics of quality within the categories of service quality and clinical quality.

Service quality is the term to describe the characteristics of care such as waiting times, ease of physical access, pleasant staff and clean comfortable surroundings. Service quality also includes such things as cleanliness of your hospital room and respectfulness of the person who draws your blood.

Clinical quality is the term used to describe such things as prescribing the correct medications, performing surgery as safely and appropriately as possible and involving the patient fully in their own care. It includes attributes such as the accuracy of a laboratory test, operating on the correct leg and providing enough information so that you understand your health risks or medical condition.





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Maine Towns We Serve
For a Lifetime of Caring - Mid Coast Hospital
Accredited by The Joint Commission. Recognized as a Magnet™ Hospital for exceptional nursing and patient care by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. (Learn more at www.midcoasthealth.com/quality)

123 Medical Center Drive, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Phone: (207) 373-6000

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