Quality Management in Health Care
Quality is an illusive concept with different meanings to different people. Providers often define quality in terms of patient outcomes, professional standards of practice, predetermined criteria used to measure quality, and even subjective opinion. Patients describe quality in terms of the interpersonal aspects of care, how well they were treated, and the responsiveness of the provider to their needs. This qualitative study using a semi-structured interview defined quality from the perspectives of patients, physicians, nurses, and payers associated with a hospital-based women's service line, and how the attributes of quality varied among the multiple groups. The study also described how stakeholders become aware of quality and how they determined a hospital's quality. From the findings of the study, a conceptual framework of quality in women's health was developed.