How Quality Assurance & Continuous Quality Improvement Are Different - Quality Essay Example


            Quality Assurance in healthcare implies to actions as well as plans determined to give surety or progress the quality of care in either a designated medical location or a health care program - How Quality Assurance & Continuous Quality Improvement Are Different introduction. Therefore it’s a method of assessing suitability as well as competence of health services by making certain that there is deliverance of high quality health services. It makes available an approach to spot and resolve setbacks with the intention of following continuous quality improvement and it presents a medium for distribution of information concerning the quality of health care services (Alan Dever, 1997, p.63).


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            Continuous Quality Improvement is a move toward quality management that focuses on conventional quality assurance techniques by calling attention to the health care institute and health care systems. Continuous quality improvement is hence a mechanism that permits a state health care system to observe its health care activities as well as performance and generate plans for development. This approach is on no account castigatory towards any employees, individuals, and is result oriented (Ibid).

            Time and again, however, confusion has occurred at the differences between Quality Assurance and Continuous Quality Improvement. The differences are subtle but are fundamental to discuss because many individuals think especially that Continuous Quality Improvement is a new approach and is very different from other established measures of evaluating and monitoring health care services.

Differences between Quality Assurance and Continuous Quality Improvement

            The essential differentiation between Quality Assurance (QA) and Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is the focus; this is quality assurance focuses on the individual and his performance; whereas continuous quality improvement focuses on the process to a certain extent than the individual, it further distinguishes both internal and external clients in addition to supporting the necessitate for objective data to evaluate and advance health care processes. To solve problems effectively, continuous quality improvement requires the use of data and improvement methods within an organization that provides an opportunity for change. Thus the focus is on continuous improvement as opposed to fixed goals which are associated with quality assurance (Alan Dever, 1997, pp.63-67).

            Another difference concerns with the scope of the two, in which QA focuses on: preferred departments and within functions, retrospective clinical processes and outcomes, and quality is a separate activity; on the other hand CQI focus is on the on the whole of the organization and not only within but also across the functions, quality is an integrated activity.  The purpose of QA is to improve quality of patient care for patients and improve the health status of communities; whereas CQI improves quality of all services and products for patients and the communities (Ibid).

            The aim of QA is problem solving this is, it identifies individuals whose outcomes are outside specified thresholds; whereas CQI is a continuous improvement technique even if no problem is identified, through addressing of  both special and common causes. On leadership QA involves managers and clinical leaders in a top-down situation, thus it is reactive; whereas CQI involves all clinical and non clinical leaders in a bottom-up situation, thus its proactive (Alan Dever, 1997, pp.63-67).


            Whether the future health care organizations involve either QA or CQI the focus of both should certainly involve satisfaction of public health clients.


Alan Dever, G. E. (1997). Improving Outcomes in Public Health Practice: Strategy and Methods, 1st Edition, Maryland: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.


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