Author Affiliations: Department of Emergency Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC (Dr Mayer); Department of Emergency Medicine (Drs Mayer and Cates) and Flight Services, Inova Medical AirCare, Inova Fairfax Hospital (Dr Mayer); and Fairfax County Fire & Rescue & Police Helicopter Unit (Dr Mayer), Falls Church, Va.
Assessing and reporting on the quality of health care has become a fact
of life.1- 7
Quality outcomes are now compared among institutions and reported in both
the consumer press and peer-reviewed literature to the delight of some and
the consternation of others.8- 10
Into this debate on comparing quality of care among institutions and clinicians
come some unsettling notions. Can clinicians effectively measure and compare
not only quality of care but quality of service? What is the link between
defined clinical outcomes and perception of the quality of service in delivering
patient care? Can patients rate both the skill and service of physicians and
nurses? What is more important—outcome or satisfaction? Despite a rapidly
expanding body of research on service quality in health care, these intriguing
questions are still largely unanswered.
Mayer T, Cates RJ. Service Excellence in Health Care. JAMA. 1999;282(13):1281-1283. doi:10.1001/jama.282.13.1281