What is quality? What is its dimension and purpose?
Quality can be defined as set of properties and characteristics of goods and services, which refer to their possibility to meet identified or expressed needs.
Health care quality is an extent to which activities, taken and non-taken, consistent with good practice standards have maximized probability of positive outcome and minimized risks and other unwanted outcomes. Having in mind different interests of actors directly involved in providing medical services, we identify three different dimensions of quality health care:
- Quality seen by users: what users want from a medical service,
- Quality seen by health professionals: medical doctors, nurses and other professionals evaluate whether patients needs are met; whether provided services are technically correct; whether appropriate procedures are used in order to meet patients needs/ with focus on abandonment of concept of paternal relation and establishment of partner relation between patients and health professionals,
- Quality seen by management: health care is evaluated in relation to efficiency and effectiveness within set parameters and guidelines proposed by politics and financial decision makers in health system.
In order to have quality health care, all three dimensions must be integrated.
It can be stated that there is a growing consensus in the world regarding the dissatisfaction with health services. The problems are particularly apparent in regards to a patient’s safety, clinical efficiency, access and continuity of health care, user’s satisfaction and public accountability. Due to all these issues, health care quality improvement has occupied the central role in the reform of health systems and provision of health services in all countries in the world. All countries in the world are facing challenges to provide approach, equity, safety and participation of patients with available resources and to develop evidence based skills, technology and medicine. In order to systematically solve mentioned problems most of the countries are developing national strategy ad politics on health care quality and safety improvement. The Republic of Srpska has also adopted documents on health care quality and safety strategy and politics.