Quality Improvement And Patient Safety

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Quality Improvement and Patient Safety
In the United States alone there are 98,000 deaths per year caused by low quality health care (Ignatavicius & Workman, 2013, pg. 2). This statistic is disturbing because the errors that resulted in death were errors that were preventable. The intent of this chapter is to bring awareness to health care providers that are able to make a change in the quality of health care. In current practice patients are subjected to medication errors, preventable hospitalizations, premature death, and poor care provided due to racial, ethical, or low-income factors.
According to Werner, there are six components to providing quality health care: safety, timeliness, effectiveness, efficiency, equitableness, and lastly the care being patient centered (Cherry & Jacob, 2014, pg. 378). Each component can be broken down to ensure adequate understanding of the acronym STEEP. Safety is explained as keeping the patient free from injury when providing care proposed to making the patient better. Timeliness is referred to as providing care in a timely manner so that the possibility of harming the patient is greatly decreased – even if the delay is unintentional. It is important to understand that harm caused to patients are not done with intent to do harm; however, it is a result of poor quality health care. The third factor, effectiveness, is aimed at providing evidence based care. Not only does the care need to be based on current practices and knowledge;
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