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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

A Finger on the Pulse: Comparative Models for Reporting the Quality of Hospital Care

Report by Julia Witt

Julia Witt argues that reporting on the quality of care that patients receive in Canadian hospitals is the responsibility of governments, hospital boards, and professional accreditation agencies. Although accreditation and ‘quality measurement’ of hospitals are controversial issues, Julia Witt contends that the demand for such measurements is growing. Hospitals’ participation is usually voluntary, but may be compulsory in the future.

Witt argues, however, that there is a lack of understanding about many accreditation and quality measurement issues. She cites problems with the quality and usefulness of available information, a lack of standardized measures, and the fear of corrupt reporting on the part of hospitals that wish to be cast in a better light in comparative rankings. Witt also suggests that many reports are also oriented more towards hospital management than to other stakeholder groups in the health care community.

Witt’s analysis is set against the context of the US, European, and Canadian experiences. She analyzes many different quality measures that can be used, including structural measures, process measures, and outcome measures. She concludes that these comparative measures must be of high quality, reliable and, above all, relevant to patients.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Julia Witt;
Publisher: Atlantic Institute for Market Studies [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2005; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Health Care / Measuring Results
Policy Articles / Health Care / Measuring Results / 2005
Policy Articles / Health Care


Keywords / Tags:

quality measurement; accreditation mechanisms; standardized measures; stakeholders; quality assessment; patient care;