I could not agree more with the statement in the Sept. 15 editorial ("Make quality data meaningful," p. 26) that "defining and measuring quality in healthcare remains an elusive goal . . . ." The problem relates directly to a comment in the study in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield journal Inquiry regarding clarity and simplicity.
What better way to address this issue than to look at the dimension of quality relating to defects in the healthcare process, such as medication errors, nosocomial infections, falls, etc. Granted, this is not the only aspect of quality, but everyone will agree that it is a major factor and one that is clear, simple and easy to understand regardless of background.
As one healthcare executive told me, "Looking at care defects gives us a common language to use with patients, caregivers, administration and payers." Well said.
Vice president, operations
Management Prescriptives, Tampa, Fla.