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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 237-241

A framework for healthcare quality improvement in India: The time is here and now!


1 Department of Medicine, Faculty Development and Satisfaction, Preventive Medicine and Medical Education, Rochester, MN, USA
2 Department of Quality Improvement, Quality Management Services, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA

Correspondence Address:
P Varkey
Department of Medicine, Faculty Development and Satisfaction, Preventive Medicine and Medical Education, Rochester, MN
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.85222

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Healthcare in India has been undergoing rapid changes in the last decade. As demand outpaces supply, quality improvement (QI) initiatives and tools can be beneficial to enhance safe, effective, efficient, equitable and timely care. Healthcare quality is the degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge. This article discusses the framework for QI and reviews the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA), Lean and Six Sigma methodologies, and briefly discusses key patient safety and quality measurement concepts. The PDSA cycle assists in testing the ideas through small tests of change or "pilots". Six Sigma aims at reducing variations in processes, and the Lean methodology predominantly focuses on enhancing process efficiency and eliminating non-value added steps in the process. It is likely that such structured problem solving approaches will provide an objective and systematic method of enhancing quality in healthcare institutions across India. As increasing attention being is paid on enhancing the quality of life through the Quality Council of India and accreditation of hospitals in India through the International Organization for standardization and National Accreditation Board for hospitals and healthcare providers, a focus on QI by institutional leaders and healthcare providers is key to enhancing the safety and quality of healthcare in India. Central to this also will be leadership buy-in, identification of a core faculty or team that will be the initiators of change, a respect for the need for faculty training and education in QI, measurement of issues to identify key priorities to focus on, and enhanced information systems where resources permit the same.






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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow