Quality Health Care is More than What Happens in the Doctor’s Office
By Carolyn Clancy, Director, AHRQ and Marilyn Tavenner, Acting Administrator, CMS
What does high quality health care mean to you—as a patient, a family member, a taxpayer, and an American?
High quality care is about more than getting better when you are sick. It means getting an appointment with your doctor when you need one, and getting to spend enough time with them to discuss the decisions that affect your care.
It means all of your doctors talking to each other, so that you don’t have to do the same test over again or be on your own to figure out if prescriptions from two different doctors are safe to take together.
It means never having to worry that going to the hospital to treat one illness will expose you to catching another one.
It means knowing how to stay healthy and keeping small health problems from becoming bigger ones.
And it means that we have a health care system that uses our dollars wisely so that care is affordable.
Making sure that every American receives this kind of high-quality health care all the time takes a lot of people working together. The United States has the most highly-skilled doctors and nurses in the world, but they can’t do this alone. It takes patients, insurance companies, employers, communities, and health care providers all being on the same page.
That’s why the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act, called for a National Quality Strategy so that we’re all focused on the same goals. Last March, after talking to patients, providers and stakeholders from around the country, we released the first-ever National Quality Strategy and focused the nation’s attention on 6 priorities for improving health care quality.
And we’re building on that work. Today, we announced our progress on the National Quality Strategy. For each of our shared priorities, we have nationwide initiatives – happening in all 50 states – to improve health care quality. We’ve picked key measures to hold the system accountable for truly improving quality, not just talking about it.
And there’s more to come. The National Quality Strategy isn’t just a piece of paper that’s going to sit on the shelf and collect dust. It represents just some of the actions we’re taking to ensure that Americans have access to affordable health coverage and high-quality health care that they need and deserve.
To read more about the National Quality Strategy and what we’re doing to improve health care quality, visit this page.