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Improving the Quality of Health Care

By Georgi Johnson | Jun 15, 2016

Improving the quality of health care

What does quality in health care mean?

It means doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way to create the best possible results. These six quality measurements are defined by the Institute of Medicine:1

  • Safe: Patients shouldn’t be harmed by care that’s meant to help them.
  • Effective: Care should be evidence-based.
  • Patient-centered: Care should be based on individual needs.
  • Timely: Waits and delays should be reduced.
  • Efficient: Waste should be eliminated.
  • Equitable: All care should be equal for everyone.

As the cost of care rises, it’s important that quality isn’t compromised. Poor quality care can results in medical errors. And studies have shown the annual cost of measurable medical errors that harm patients is $17.1 billion.2

Quality in health care can be improved when performance is measured, quality standards are met and members are more engaged. Health care that’s measured and evaluated helps ensure the best outcomes. When choosing health benefits, you’ll want to consider whether your benefits provider includes centers of excellence or other value-based programs that reward doctors for the quality of care, not quantity.

At Anthem, we’ve been working to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship through our patient-centered Enhanced Personal Health Care (EPHC) model. Doctors are:

  • Rewarded for value over volume when they improve a patient’s health and meet quality standards.
  • Supported with the right tools and strategies to improve their patient relationships.

High-quality, lower cost care centers

Our Blue Distinction Total Care hospitals and our Blue Distinction and Blue Distinction+ facilities also meet high quality standards. Blue Distinction and Blue Distinction+ facilities are recognized for delivering expertise and efficiency in specialty care. These nationally recognized centers have been evaluated for quality and have a history of delivering better results than other specialty facilities.

Ask your Sales representative how your members can get care at one of these Centers of Excellence.


  1. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website: The Six Domains of Health Care Quality (accessed July 2016):
  2. HealthAffairs website: The $17.1 Billion Problem: The Annual Cost of Measurable Medical Errors (accessed July 2016): content.

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