This paper presents a discussion on the methods of quality measurement. The organization, which is the subject of analysis, is the University of Rochester Medical Center, which is in the United States of America. This is an institution of learning, research and provision of health care to patients from all across the globe. As it is stated in its mission statement, it intends to use education, science and technological inventions to improve the care accorded to patients. To achieve this, the medical center has in place methods to measure whether the quality of their services is in line with their goals. These methods are discussed below.
One of the methods is examining the percentage of patients who die within a period of one month. The University of Rochester Medical Center experiences a lower mortality rate than the average deaths recorded in other similar hospitals. The center also aims at reducing the figure through striving to offer the best health care on the land. It invests in education and research to enhance the quality of the services delivered. The hospital therefore rates itself by gauging the number of deaths against those registered by other medical centers. Where lower rates are obtained by Rochester Medical Center, the performance is rated as good, as opposed to where it has more deaths than the average of other hospitals. Hence, this forms a measure of quality and performance.
The state of the art facilities is another critical measure of quality. This entails the facilities and resources with which the center is equipped with to handle any challenge brought forward (Elazar, 1991). If the Rochester Medical Center is poorly equipped with the modern facilities for performing various duties, then their rating is below average. In cases where all the appropriate facilities are available for carrying out all the necessary tasks, then the performance of the facility is above average, thus rated as good. For instance, the subject hospital is equipped with the following facilities thereby indicating its appropriateness in terms of preparedness for the execution of its duties. The hospital has a dedicated operation room for surgery, surgical suites for joint replacement and programs for assessment of patients and counseling, amongst others.
The length of stay is another method of measurement of quality (Nutter, 2003). Where patients stay for long periods while admitted in the facility, then in that case, the performance is poor. Whenever patients stay for shorter periods, the performance is deemed satisfactory. Therefore, the shorter the period of stay, the better the rating and vice versa. The above three methods, are some of the methods that are employed by the Rochester University Medical Center as measures to determine the quality of its services.
The measures can be used greatly to improve organizational effectiveness. For instance, where the performance is below the set target or the average from other similar hospitals, the organization must review its performance and make any changes to ensure that its objectives are met. The strategy should then be changed to address areas that lag behind to improve the performance.
The above methods are all valid. They can be used throughout the year as measures to determine the quality of the hospital services. They should however be used concurrently since reliance on one of them may give a false perception (Michell, 1999). Therefore, for them to give a true picture there is a need to apply at least three of them to obtain objective results. This is because if only one of them is employed, there could be seasons or periods when there are disturbances like an outbreak of a contagious disease that may lead to many deaths. This cannot therefore be used as an appropriate measure during that season in time. The rating should also be done annually or semi- annually for better analysis and objective results. Where this is done, correct data would be captured which when analyzed would provide the true representation of facts regarding the hospital facility.