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A finger on the pulse




Indicators — arguably the most important measure of quality from the perspective of patients — are the focus of a second paper in this series, to be followed by the release of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies’ own Hospital Report Card. [...] Second, there are comparative quality assessment schemes, which shift the focus to the consumer, or patient, and compare indicators of the quality of service both to other services at the same time and to the same service at another time. [...] The purpose of the paper is simply to familiarize the reader with these mechanisms and to give a sense of the multitude of aspects that must be considered in quality assess- ment. [...] Different components contribute to the quality of hos- pital care a patient receives, including the quality of the equipment being used, the ratio of patients to nurses and physicians, whether the patient receives the right diagnosis and treatment, and how long the patient must wait for diagnosis. [...] A Finger on the Pulse 7 QUALITY ASSESSMENT SYSTEMS In the United States, a number of different organizations are concerned with the measurement of health care quality, including the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the National Quality Forum, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.



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