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Background Information about HUP
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is located in southwest Philadelphia with a capacity of 704 beds. It operates as a tertiary academic medical center focusing on the provision of medical services to adults, as well as offering a wide range of medical services such as obstetrics, rehabilitative services and psychiatry. The hospital possesses modern facilities in their intensive care units and 32 operating rooms ensuring the quality of their services. The hospital also has a robust transplantation program, as well as very active oncology and cardiology among various other programs (Jost & Rich, 2010). The wide and expansive facilities in the hospital are backed by an experienced and competent staff. The reputation of the hospital in medical research and clinical care has enabled it to attract high quality medical specialists from all around the globe.
Quality Assurance Standards
Quality assurance is an important aspect in the medical field due to sensitivity and the need for high quality medical services. This has led to the rapid increasing interest in the quality and safety in the medical and health care sectors in the recent past. There has been a myriad of definitions in regard to the definition of quality assurance in the medical field and there is no generally accepted definition of quality assurance. However, quality assurance is generally accepted in the global field of medical care, which is essential in facilitating new developments and consensus on what is to be included in the quality assurance. However, there are various aspects of quality assurance that can be recognized as important in the quality assurance (Black, 2000). For example, the aspect of assessment of the actual quality level of the services offered and various efforts aimed at modifying provision of such services.
The concept has in some aspects been restricted to scientific and technical capabilities in different health and medical care institutions. However, the services delivered for care of the patients could be ineffective and inadequate to meet the diverse needs of the population. Therefore, when assessing the quality of an institution, there is a need to develop criteria of assessment to ensure that all aspects of the quality are considered when doing the assessment. The availability of the technical and scientific capabilities needs to consider all aspects of efficiency and equity in the provision of medical care services (Lohr, 1990).
There is some synonymy of the concept of quality assurance and quality improvement. However, quality assurance can be defined as the measurement of quality against certain established standards. In addition, quality assessment is prerogative to quality assurance since there must be some measures which measure the quality of services offered. However, quality assurance is not a conditional factor for quality assessment since one can assess the quality without assuring of the same. Synonymy of the quality assurance and quality improvement comes about because quality assurance is based on the tenets of continuous quality improvement. Continuous improvement of the quality actually encompasses total management of quality in health care, since it involves integration of quality assurance at all levels of health care institution (Jost & Rich, 2010).
There are various elements involved in the management of quality in health care institutions, which include integration of quality assurance at all levels of organization and the need for commitment towards quality assurance. In addition, the institution should work towards involving all staff in the quality assurance, where the aim of organization should work toward exceeding the set standards. Quality management in health care institutions should focus on the consumers and patients since quality assurance is driven by the need to offer better services. There are different components of quality assurance programs, which vary with different health care institutions (Jonge, Nicholas, van Leerdam & Kuipers, 2012). However, these programs focus on similar issues such as utilization management programs, which focus on ensuring the patients receive appropriate treatment. They ensure optimal utilization through identification of areas and patterns of underutilization in the organization.
The case management program focuses on implementing coordinating and monitoring various special needs facing the patients with complicated and complex medical conditions. It focuses on integrating the primary and secondary care providers to ensure that maximum and appropriate care are provided to the patients. Risk management programs are also essential in ensuring quality assurance in health institutions since they facilitate identification, management and prevention of adverse occurrences in the medical care institution operations, affecting the provision of quality services. Risk management programs facilitate avoidance of malpractice in the medical care, which could result to law suits that lead to the losses, damaged reputation and consumer loss of confidence in the institution (Lohr, 1990). This facilitates improvement of the quality as well providing an assurance of service quality.
Quality Assurance at HUP
The Hospital at University of Pennsylvania is among the top health and medical care institutions in America, with dedication to high quality patient care and service through advancements in research. The hospital is rated among the top ten health institutions in the provision of medical and health care in the country. Therefore, for the institution to maintain its leadership in the medical sector globally there is a need of ensuring maintenance and management of the quality assurance. This has led to the organization’s investments in modern technology equipment, which has been essential in delivery of high quality services to the patients (Eizo Nanao Corporation, 2013).
There have been various efforts by the hospital to develop the quality assurance programs, in ensuring provision of quality services, to patients. For example, the institution has developed a digital imaging monitor system, which has been essential in ensuring management and control of quality of the services offered in the institution. The monitor is essential in providing data and information, which enable the hospital to track and monitor operations of the organization. The system has been among the efforts of the institution to adopt the latest innovations in technology, which is essential for the organization’s achievement of efficiency and effectiveness in its operations (Eizo Nanao Corporation, 2013).
The institution has also been able to comply with various standards of quality assurance since it has been able to address various issues in regard to quality assurance. For example, the organization has been able to adopt state of art technologies in the medical field in ensuring the quality of its services. This has also been characterized with optimal use of resources in the organization, where the organization’s quality assurance program has ensured optimal use of the institution facilities (Black, 2000). The institution has also focused on ensuring development of the right relationship with their patients providing autonomy of the patients and services that meet the patients’ preferences.
The institution is also committed to the quality through its developed expansive support system, with highly competent and motivated health professionals who ensure delivery of quality medical services. The institution embraces constant and continuous improvement in the provision of their services through adoption of innovations and improvements in the delivery system as a whole (Lohr, 1990). Quality assurance of the institution is also defined in the organization’s quality assurance system, which incorporates various programs that ensure maintenance of quality services provided to their customers.