What is Quality Assurance in Healthcare?

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Before setting up a QA healthcare team, it’s crucial to define clear objectives and requirements. Think of it like a roadmap to success. Without a destination in mind, you could end up lost in the vast sea of software development. Start by establishing specific and measurable goals, such as reducing the number of bugs or improving user experience. You want your product to be the best it can be, after all! 

Additionally, identifying your customers’ needs and the key requirements of your product will ensure that your testing process aligns with your overall business strategy. So, let’s get started on this exciting journey toward delivering high-quality software that will delight your customers!


The Essense 

What is quality assurance in healthcare? It is the process of ensuring that healthcare services meet or exceed predetermined standards. It involves identifying potential problems, developing and implementing solutions, and monitoring the results to continuously improve patient care. By implementing quality assurance measures, healthcare providers can reduce medical errors, improve patient outcomes, and increase patient satisfaction. 

Visual representation of QA looks like this:

The QA concept
The QA concept

One example of QA in healthcare could be ensuring that a hospital’s hand hygiene protocol is being followed correctly by all staff members. This may involve monitoring staff compliance with hand washing procedures, identifying any gaps in knowledge or adherence, and implementing interventions to improve hand hygiene practices. Regular monitoring and feedback can help to ensure ongoing compliance and identify areas for improvement.

Or ensuring that patients receive appropriate vaccinations. This may involve tracking vaccination rates, identifying patients who are due for vaccines and developing strategies to improve vaccination rates. Regular monitoring and feedback can help to ensure that all patients receive the recommended vaccines and help to prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases. 

In general, the QA cycle looks like this:

The process of QA in healthcare is profound and involves many steps
The process of QA in healthcare is profound and involves many steps

QA in healthcare: QA vs Qi and QC 

Quality assurance in healthcare involves a set of activities that aim to improve the quality of patient care by preventing errors and ensuring that healthcare services meet or exceed predetermined quality standards. QA includes the development of policies and procedures, regular audits and reviews, staff training and development, and ongoing monitoring and evaluation. 

In contrast, Quality Control (QC) focuses on detecting and correcting defects in the final product or service. For example, in healthcare, QC may involve checking medication dosages or verifying patient information to prevent medication errors. 

On the other hand, Quality Improvement (QI) aims to improve processes and systems to enhance the overall quality of patient care. For example, a hospital may implement a QI program to reduce wait times in the emergency department or improve patient satisfaction scores. 

While QA, QC, and QI are related, they have distinct objectives and approaches. By implementing effective QA processes, healthcare organizations can improve patient safety, reduce costs, and enhance the overall quality of care.

Why Should QA Processes Be Implemented In Healthcare? 

QA processes are essential in healthcare for many reasons. First and foremost, they help ensure patient safety and improve the quality of care provided. QA healthcare processes involve systematic monitoring, measurement, and evaluation of healthcare practices to identify areas for improvement and reduce errors. Medical errors in the United States accounted for hundreds of thousands of deaths, making it one of the leading causes of death in the country. Implementing QA processes can help prevent these tragic outcomes and improve patient outcomes. 

Medical errors causes
Medical errors causes

In addition to improving patient safety, QA processes can also lead to cost savings for healthcare organizations. A study by the National Committee for Quality Assurance found that for every $1 spent on quality improvement, healthcare organizations saved $3. As healthcare costs continue to rise, implementing QA processes can help organizations provide better care at a lower cost. 

Furthermore, implementing QA processes can help healthcare organizations stay competitive in an industry that is becoming increasingly focused on patient experience. Patients are now more informed and empowered than ever before, and they have high expectations when it comes to the quality of care they receive. By implementing QA processes, healthcare organizations can demonstrate their commitment to providing high-quality care and meeting the expectations of patients. 

Finally, QA processes can also help healthcare organizations comply with regulatory requirements and accreditations. For example, the National Committee for Quality Assurance provides voluntary accreditation for healthcare organizations and health plans, and its Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set evaluation system relies on a set of performance measures to track quality assurance.

Implementing QA tools means a lot in various areas of healthcare
Implementing QA tools means a lot in various areas of healthcare

So, implementing QA processes is essential for healthcare organizations to improve patient safety, save costs, stay competitive, and comply with regulatory requirements. This way, healthcare organizations can provide better care and meet the expectations of patients while also achieving cost savings and complying with regulatory requirements.

QA Software And Its Superpowers 

Quality Assurance software has become an essential tool for ensuring that healthcare organizations meet or exceed quality standards. These software programs provide a suite of tools and functionalities that streamline the quality assurance process, making it easier for healthcare organizations to detect and prevent errors.

One of the superpowers of QA software is the ability to automate testing and validation processes. This can include automated regression testing, which checks that changes or updates to software do not adversely affect existing functionality. By automating these processes, healthcare organizations can save time and resources while ensuring that their software is functioning as expected.

Another cool thing about QA healthcare software is its ability to provide real-time monitoring and analytics. This can include performance monitoring to detect and diagnose issues before they impact users, as well as tracking metrics to measure the effectiveness of QA processes. By providing these insights, QA software can help healthcare organizations make data-driven decisions to continuously improve the quality of their software and patient care.

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Moreover, QA software can help healthcare organizations meet regulatory and compliance requirements. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandates strict data privacy and security requirements for healthcare providers. QA software can help organizations comply with these regulations by performing security testing and identifying vulnerabilities that could put patient data at risk. In conclusion, QA software is a powerful tool for healthcare organizations to ensure that their software and systems are functioning as intended, meet regulatory requirements, and deliver the highest quality of patient care.

Healthcare Utilizes Various Methods to Ensure the Quality of Their Services

In the United States, guaranteeing high-quality healthcare isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. That’s why healthcare organizations are constantly working to improve their services by using quality assurance methods to track their effectiveness. With the threat of lower reimbursement levels looming for organizations that can’t provide meaningful clinical statistics, healthcare providers are doubling down on their investment in robust quality assurance processes. By doing so, they not only meet patient expectations but also gain valuable insights into how they can enhance the quality of healthcare and boost patient satisfaction. In short, quality assurance isn’t just a buzzword in healthcare – it’s a crucial component of delivering top-notch services that patients can rely on. When it comes to QA in healthcare, two big players are the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the National Committee for Quality Assurance – both of which are nonprofit groups. These organizations play a critical role in quantifying healthcare organizations’ quality assurance efforts for the public. That’s why providers often seek out these accreditations as a way to showcase their commitment to quality care and provide patients with peace of mind that they’re receiving top-notch services. After all, when it comes to healthcare, trust is everything – and these accreditations go a long way in building that trust between providers and patients.

Who Is Responsible For Accrediting Healthcare Organizations?

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) is the gold standard in the United States. Why? Because the JCAHO accreditation is a pre-condition for receiving Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements from most state governments – and that’s no small feat. With over 22,000 healthcare organizations and programs accredited by this nonprofit organization, it’s clear that JCAHO means business. And part of that business is conducting unannounced full surveys of member organizations to ensure they’re complying with the highest standards of care. During these surveys, healthcare organizations are put to the test – but those that pass with flying colors receive the coveted Accreditation decision. Of course, there’s no such thing as a perfect healthcare organization, which is why the JCAHO also reveals any standards that need improvement. At the end of the day, though, what matters most is that patients can trust that they’re receiving high-quality care from JCAHO-accredited organizations. And with a three-year accreditation cycle, these organizations are constantly working to maintain that level of excellence – so you can breathe easy knowing you’re in good hands.

NCQA Accreditation Matters Greatly

Looking for a reliable and high-quality healthcare plan can be a daunting task. Fortunately, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) offers a voluntary accreditation program for medical organizations and health plans. With over 70% of Americans with health insurance in plans accredited by the NCQA, you can trust that you’re getting the best care possible. The NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) evaluation system is a comprehensive tool that tracks quality assurance using a set of performance measures. These measures enable consumers to compare the performance of different health plans against regional or national benchmarks. By using HEDIS, you can make informed decisions about which healthcare plan is right for you. Don’t settle for less when it comes to your health. Choose an accredited health plan from the NCQA and rest easy knowing you’re in good hands. NCQA measures six primary domains to assess the quality of healthcare plans:
  1. Access/Availability of Care
  2. Experience of Care
  3. Health Plan Descriptive Information
  4. Effectiveness of Care
  5. Utilization and Relative Resource Use
  6. Measures Collected Using Electronic Clinical Data Systems
This way, it is possible to provide a comprehensive evaluation of healthcare plans and help consumers make informed decisions. So, whether you’re looking for better access to care or want to ensure your plan is utilizing resources efficiently, the NCQA’s evaluation system has you covered. Choose a healthcare plan that has been evaluated and accredited by the NCQA and rest assured that you’re getting the best care possible.

Healthcare Can Greatly Benefit From The Use Of QA software

Implementing QA healthcare software in healthcare can significantly reduce errors caused by human factors and improve patient care. The software can help identify areas for process improvement, ultimately making the lives of patients and staff safer and easier. However, security testing is crucial, as medical data is highly confidential and vulnerable to disasters if any vulnerabilities are left unchecked. Businesses must ensure that quality assurance software operates without flaws, as any mistake could jeopardize patient safety. Thorough software testing can help prevent technical errors and system failures. Another critical aspect of QA programs is determining the root cause of errors and implementing protocols to reduce and prevent them. QA software can be deployed in both internal and patient-facing systems to identify areas for improvement.
QA framework
QA framework

Assessing the Performance of Healthcare Facilities’ Internal Systems through Testing

In the fast-paced world of healthcare, it’s crucial that all IT systems work flawlessly across multiple departments. A single glitch can have disastrous consequences for the entire infrastructure, putting human lives at risk. That’s why comprehensive software testing for healthcare is essential to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Quality assurance in healthcare should involve thorough software testing to guarantee that it functions seamlessly on all platforms. Digital patient record systems, in particular, require rigorous security testing to prevent any unauthorized access to confidential patient information.

But testing isn’t just about preventing security breaches. It’s also about preparing for the worst-case scenario. Recovery testing is essential for medical record systems, as it ensures that critical data isn’t lost in the event of a system failure. By testing the system’s response to data-intensive tasks and assessing its recovery time, healthcare facilities can be better prepared to handle any technical issues that may arise. 

In the image below, you can see different types of testing like Functional, Medical Imagine, Platform, etc. that make an important part of the QA process:

QA and different types of Testing
QA and different types of Testing

At the end of the day, comprehensive testing is crucial to ensuring the safety and well-being of both patients and healthcare professionals. Don’t leave anything to chance – make sure your healthcare facility’s IT systems are thoroughly tested and ready to handle anything that comes their way.

Conducting Assessments on Systems that Interact with Patients 

In today’s digital age, patients want to stay informed and engaged with their healthcare. Patient-facing portals have become increasingly popular as they allow patients to access their medical records, and medication history, and even pay their medical bills online. It’s a convenient way for patients to stay on top of their treatment and stay connected with their healthcare providers. 

But it is not just about convenience – patient-facing tools can also be a game-changer for those with chronic conditions. Remote patient monitoring, powered by IoT technology, can allow patients to easily monitor their blood pressure and sugar levels from the comfort of their own homes. 

Of course, it’s not just about having these systems in place – they need to be user-friendly and effective. Custom quality assurance software can help healthcare providers gather valuable feedback from patients on how to improve their patient-facing portals. By conducting enhanced usability testing, healthcare providers can identify areas for improvement and make their patient-facing portals more user-friendly and visually appealing.

At the end of the day, patient-facing systems are a critical component of modern healthcare. By leveraging technology to engage and empower patients, healthcare providers can improve patient outcomes and enhance the overall patient experience.

Quality Assurance In Healthcare. We Can Help You

It’s crucial to choose a reliable software vendor to develop custom quality assurance software for healthcare organizations due to the sensitive nature of medical data. Mishandling patient data can put the entire organization at risk, and the increasing threat of ransomware attacks makes it even more important to have rigorously tested software. 


Need a customized medical solution?

With software from ZenBit!

Ukrainian ZenBit Tech company specializes in building custom quality assurance software for healthcare organizations including, remote patient monitoring, medication tracking software, and more. and has a global network of specialists. Our expert test engineers ensure that all deliverables meet high-quality standards through both scripted and manual testing services. 

To elevate your organization’s quality assurance program, you can schedule a consultation with our team today!

  • What is meant by quality assurance in health care?

    Quality assurance in healthcare refers to the systematic approach of ensuring that healthcare services meet established standards of safety, effectiveness, and patient-centeredness. It involves continuous monitoring, assessment, and improvement of healthcare processes to minimize errors, prevent adverse events, and optimize patient outcomes. QA aims to enhance patient satisfaction, increase healthcare efficiency, and promote evidence-based healthcare practices. Effective QA requires collaboration among healthcare professionals, patients, and stakeholders to promote transparency and accountability in healthcare delivery.

  • What is an example of quality assurance?

    The implementation of a medication reconciliation process. It involves systematically reviewing a patient's medication regimen and ensuring that it is accurate and up-to-date. This process helps to minimize medication errors and adverse drug reactions, improving patient safety and outcomes. QA in healthcare also includes regular audits of healthcare processes and policies, as well as ongoing education and training of healthcare professionals to ensure they are delivering the best possible care.

  • Why is quality assurance important in health?
    • QA is crucial in healthcare as it helps to ensure that patients receive safe, effective, and patient-centered care. It minimizes errors and adverse events, promotes evidence-based practices, and improves healthcare outcomes. Quality assurance also fosters transparency and accountability in healthcare delivery, enhancing patient satisfaction and trust in the healthcare system. By continuously monitoring and improving healthcare processes, quality assurance supports healthcare professionals in delivering the best possible care to patients.
  • What is QA vs Qi vs QC?

    QA, Qi, and QC are all related to quality management in different ways. QA (Quality Assurance) is the process of ensuring that a product or service meets specific quality standards. Qi (Quality Improvement) refers to the continuous effort to improve the quality of a product or service. QC (Quality Control) is the process of ensuring that a product or service meets the desired quality standards by inspecting and testing it before release. All three processes are important for ensuring high-quality products and services that meet the needs of customers. 

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    Dmitry Broshkov
    Dmitry Broshkov
    CEO of ZenBit Tech