Governmental Administrative Agencies

Governmental Administrative Agencies

The provision of healthcare services in the USA is under the control of governmental agencies which function on different levels from the local to the federal one. At the same time, governmental administrative agencies operating in the field of healthcare services do not only control the performance of professional and organizations that provide healthcare services to the population, but they also control the quality of such services. In this respect, it is possible to mention the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In actuality, this governmental administrative agency plays a very important role in the functioning and development of the American healthcare system because its primary concern is the quality of healthcare services and the enrollment of all Americans in the national healthcare system.
On analyzing the role and function of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, it is necessary to underline the fact that the agency is a part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The agency supports researches designed to improve the outcomes and quality of healthcare services. However, along with this principal goal, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality pursues a number of other strategically important goals, including the reduction of costs of healthcare services, patient safety and medical errors, and broadening of access to effective healthcare services.
To meet all the goals and perform its respective functions, the agency applies a variety of tools which contribute to the improvement of the quality of healthcare services through a system of thorough control of this quality. In this respect, it should be said that the agency assesses the quality of healthcare services and its assessment influences the licensing of healthcare professionals and organization and if they do not meet the established standards of healthcare quality they are likely to stop their practice in the USA. To put it more precisely, the agency uses four basic indicators to measure the quality of healthcare services. Firstly, it is the prevention quality indicator which identifies hospital admissions that evidence suggests could have been avoided, at least in part through a high quality outpatient care. Secondly, there is an in-patient quality indicator which reflects the quality of care inside hospitals including inpatient mortality for medical conditions and surgical procedures. Furthermore, there is a patient safety indicator which reflects the quality of care inside hospitals, but focuses on potentially avoidable complications and iatrogenic events. Finally, a pediatric quality indicator includes the above indicators related to the pediatric population.
In such a way, through these indicators the agency can measure the quality of healthcare services. For instance, a high infant mortality rate can be a serious indicator of a low quality of a healthcare services and, therefore, may be interpreted by the agency as a factor that influences the performance of the entire healthcare organization and makes the quality of its services questionable. Hence, the agency can limit the performance of such organization or incline it to the improvement of the quality of healthcare services.
Thus, the agency can improve the quality of healthcare services through a strict system of control and regulations of standards of healthcare services.

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