Promoting Quality and Safety through Standards

PromotingQuality and Safety through Standards

PromotingQuality and Safety through Standards

Today,the biggest challenge that faces the healthcare system is theproblems associated with patient safety and quality care delivery,which means that quality of care provided by many healthcareinstitutions, does not reach the optimal level. According toBielaszka-DuVernay(2011), the quality of care in U.S falls far short of what is optimaldespite of the country spending more than any other nation per personon healthcare. However, the Joint commission (TJC) and Centers forMedicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have given healthcareinstitutions and organizations an opportunity for improvement byproviding specific standards and core measures that emphasize on thepatient safety, quality of care, and clinical care outcomes.(Youngberg, 2012) suggests that not only should hospitals becommitted to patient safety by offering quality care, but also shouldbe committed to error reduction.

Asa result of these standards and core measures, the cases of newerevents have reduced in many healthcare institutions. Over time,hospital performance on measures of accountability has improvedtremendously. Therefore, hospitals that are accredited by both CMSand TJC have greatly improved the quality of care given to theirpatients and families (Bielaszka-DuVernay,2011).For example the measures related to surgical care improvement gives alist procedures to be followed prior to surgical incision and aftersurgery, therefore improving the safety and care of patientsundergoing surgery (CMS and TJC, 2014).

Thereare various evidences that show that these standards and measures areimproving the safety and quality care of patients. In 2014, 36.9% ofhospitals that reported accountability measure performance to TheJoint Commission for year two thousand and thirteen were hospitalsthat were said to be high performers (TJC, 2014). Also, there havebeen reports suggesting that hospitals linked to CMS and TJCexperience positive patient outcomes.

Anexample includes standards related to collection of data. Both CMSand TJC require health care institutions to gather and use data thatrelates to specific client care outcomes and harms associated withthe patient. One of the key standards from TJC is EC.04.01 it statesthat “Thehospital collects information to monitor conditions in theenvironment” LD. 03.02.01 states that “Thehospital uses data and information to guide decisions and tounderstand variation in the performance of processes supportingsafety and quality”(TJC, 2014). Hospitals that collect data and measure compliance ofits staffs with processes that are evidence based or with patientoutcomes have been able to improve those outcomes and processes,which means that the patient safety have ultimately improved. Whendata is used in an effective manner in hospitals, it becomes easy totrack success, identify problems, develop solutions, and prioritizeissues (Vincent, 2011).


Bielaszka-DuVernay,C. (2011). HealthPolicy Brief: Improving Quality and Safety. Health Affairs.

TheJoint Commission, (2014). Patient Safety Systems (PS).Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals. Retrievedfrom am/

TJC&amp CMS (2014). Specifications Manual for National HospitalInpatient Quality Measures Discharges 01-01-14 (1Q14) through12-31-14 (4Q14). Retrieved from quality_measures.aspx

Vincent,C. (2011). Patientsafety(2nd ed.). Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.

Youngberg,B. (2012). Thepatient safety handbook.Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.