Quality in healthcare organizations: Its meaning and measurement

Afsaneh Barzi, The University of Texas School of Public Health


This dissertation explores two important aspects of quality in healthcare: its meaning and its measurement. For a better understanding of what quality means, the history of quality in the manufacturing and service industries is reviewed. Concepts that are similar are pointed out as are concepts that are different. The definition introduced by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) for quality in healthcare and the six IOM aims of safety, timeliness, patient-centeredness, effectiveness, efficiency, and equitableness for a high quality healthcare system are adopted. The current activities by various organizations that proclaim improvement in quality or measurement of quality as their goal are reviewed. This is followed by examining what is offered by these organizations in terms of how many of IOM aims they address. This dissertation ends by offering a quality measurement framework that satisfies all IOM aims. Operational aspects of the measurement framework are discussed. Future areas of research are also discussed.

Subject Area

Public health|Health care management

Recommended Citation

Barzi, Afsaneh, "Quality in healthcare organizations: Its meaning and measurement" (2009). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3365936.