Quality assurance in the emergency room
Quality assurance programs are used to maintain an acceptable standard of clinical care, and serve as a measure of the efficient and effective distribution and use of resources. Quality assurance programs can focus on three aspects of health care delivery: (1) structure, which refers to medical education, training and registration of doctors, and medical equipment and facilities; (2) evaluation of outcome, indicated by death rates, the incidence of infection or complications following surgery, and duration and severity of symptoms; or (3) documentation of the process of health care delivery, indicated by sufficiency of medical records, patient satisfaction, number of laboratory tests performed, and patient waiting period. Most studies of quality assurance are based on assessment of outcome or process. In pediatric emergency rooms, maintaining optimal standards of health care delivery may be difficult because of the large numbers of patients seeking emergency treatment, imbalance in workload, limited experience of junior health professionals staffing the emergency rooms, lack of sufficient time for emergency room physicians to participate in educational activities, and the critical nature of cases seen in the emergency departments. However, quality assurance programs may help to resolve some of these problems faced in emergency departments. A program of quality assurance measures for pediatric emergency rooms is presented which addresses the structural and process aspects of health care delivery, and is based on three concepts: (1) the quality of care provided by the emergency room should reflect the standards of the hospital; (2) emergency room staff must collaborate with specialists in the diagnosis and management of pediatric emergency cases; and (3) the emergency department must be committed to the health care of children of the whole community. The components of the quality assurance program are described. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: Archives of Disease in Childhood
Medicine: business or profession, art or science?
Physicians need to find a balance between medicine as a business and a profession, an art as well as a science. Although physicians are paid for their services, medicine as three characteristics of a profession: an extensive training period, self-regulation and altruism. In addition to advancing through scientific research, medicine relies on humanistic qualities such as compassion, understanding and interpersonal communication.
Publication Name: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
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