Tracking the origins, defi ning and quantifying quality of care: Can we reach a consensus
This editorial presents a summary of the narrative used in teaching fundamentals of quality management in healthcare to medical students and health professionals with limited or negative prior experience in the fi eld of quality monitoring and improvement – i.e. those who fi nd the topic dry and disconnected from their everyday clinical experience, lacking in human dimension, and confusing due to the multitude of de fi nitions of quality of care and the considerable inconsistency of the terminology used in quality assessment. In order to remedy the problem, the topic is presented through an historical perspective of the concept of quality as seen throughout the ages - beginning in antiquity, through 19 th and early 20 th century quality control initiatives which evolved into the quality management policies and culture now fi rmly present in many of the contemporary domains of human endeavor. It is also envisioned that specifi c tools developed in this study for didactic purposes (a new defi nition of quality of care and a framework for classifying quality indicators) may play a role in encouraging a more effective dialog among all those passionate about the issue of healthcare quality monitoring, assessment, and improvement.
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