Quality 101: What Every Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathologist Should Know But Is Afraid to Ask

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The United States has the highest per capita health care costs of any industrialized nation in the world. Increasing costs are reducing access to care and constitute an increasingly heavy burden on employers and consumers. Yet as much as 20 to 30 percent of these costs may be unnecessary, or even counterproductive, to improved health (Wennberg, Brownless, Fisher, Skinner, & Weinstein, 2008). Addressing these unwanted costs is essential in the survival of providing quality health care. This article reviews 11 dimensions that should be considered when starting a quality improvement program as well as one quality improvement tool, the Juran model, that is commonly used in the healthcare and business settings. Implementing a quality management program is essential for survival in today’s market place and is no longer an option. While it takes time to implement a quality management program, the costs are too high not to.

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