The role of the patient in healthcare quality

Doctor-listening-to-his-patientHealthcare is changing rapidly, and so is the need for continuous improvement in healthcare quality.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the six domains of quality interventions are: Leadership, Information, Regulation & Standards, Organizational Capacity, Models of Care, and Patient & Population Engagement.1

Maintaining quality has been linked to better infrastructure and processes, cutting the cost, and increasing delivery efficiency. Focus has been on what the hospital can provide to the patient.

However, the patients also play a vital role in improving healthcare quality.

It has been stated that “Patients are the most underutilized resource [in healthcare] and they have the most at stake. They want to be involved and they can be involved. Their participation will lead to better medical outcomes at lower costs with dramatically higher patient satisfaction.”2

An emerging literature indicates that patients actively involved in their own healthcare experience better outcomes, are more satisfied with their choices, and may make more cost-effective decisions.3 On the other hand, a non-engaged patient is more likely to suffer poor clinical outcomes, is less satisfied with his or her providers, and is more likely to file malpractice suits.2 A patient who is not actively engaged may lead to the failure of process improvements or other efficiency measures taken by healthcare providers.

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This entry was posted in Practice Management and tagged , . Volume: .


  1. Posted Oct 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Dear Shalini,

    Excellent article.

    Please do look at our book, Decoding Medical Gobbledygook – Promoting Health Literacy to Put Patients First which is available free online at !

    Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD
    Medical Director
    HELP – Health Education Library for People
    Bombay 400 034
    Tel. No.:65952393/65952394

    Posted Dec 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Dear doctor , my appreciation for special articles on health care.
    I feel patient’s health literacy plays a vital role in getting good results of quality care.

    Posted Dec 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Thearaputic success depends on patient doctor attitude and related factors. Majority of the times failure to achieve quality of care is non compliance by patient .
    This is achieved by winning the confidence of patients. This is enhanced by proper counselling., ,attitude.
    Compliance is very important factor.

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