As a way of measuring and improving our quality and safety, we have adopted the Institute of Medicine’s definition of high quality care as outlined in its report,Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century.
In its report, the IOM said that health care should be:
- Safe – Patients should not be injured from care that is intended to help them.
- Timely – Care should be provided in a timely manner.
- Effective – Care should be based on the best science.
- Efficient – Waste of time, money and resources should be avoided.
- Equitable – The same quality and access to care should be available to all.
- Patient-Centered – Patients and families should participate fully in care decisions.
You will notice that in some cases you can compare our performance with that of other children’s hospitals. In these cases, we all agree on what constitutes best practice, we all collect data in the same way, and we share our data with one another. This is called “benchmarking.”
In other cases, where there is no agreement on what constitutes best practice and no sharing of quality data, we have established our own standards and targets. On each measure, you will clearly see whether the measure can be used to compare us with other hospitals, or if it can’t be.
Since the diseases and chronic conditions that affect children and adolescents are quite different from those of adults, it is often not appropriate to use adult measures to evaluate the quality of pediatric care. That is why Boston Children’s Hospital has taken a leadership role in developing scientifically sound methods to measure the quality of care provided to children and adolescents.