Quality Improvement in a Healthcare Environment

Topic: Healthcare Research
Words: 664 Pages: 2


To succeed and perform effectively in a complex and competitive environment like healthcare, every organization must strive to improve its performance continuously. Organizational success depends on many factors, but one of the main ones is quality improvement, as it enhances every aspect of work – from basic processes to management. For this reason, it is essential to study the pioneers in this field and understand their contribution and impact on the present and the future.

Pioneers and Quality

There are several outstanding pioneers who significantly impacted quality improvement around the world. One of them is W. Edwards Deming, the person responsible for creating 14 management points. Deming is one of those who developed Quality improvement – the modification of current healthcare settings in order to improve patient care delivery and overall health outcomes (Worten, 2021). In particular, Deming developed the PDSA (Planning, Doing, Studying, and Acting) framework that generalizes stages of the quality improvement process. Moreover, Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge can be a valuable tool for leaders that seek to systematize and focus organizational efforts.

Another significant pioneer is Avedis Donabedian, known for his work on structural, procedural, and outcome domains in healthcare. His most important contributions are the Donabedian and the three-domain models that further defined the term “quality” by highlighting the “seven pillars of quality” (Gillam, 2022). It became the most prominent framework in the current research due to its innovative approach to existing norms and practices in the healthcare field.

Contemporary Influence

The influence of their contributions is felt in modern healthcare to this day. The concepts proposed by Deming provide a valuable asset in future physicians’ training. For instance, Deming’s philosophy was applied to modify the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine’s assessment strategy in the program of internal medicine residency. In addition, his principles influenced the comprehensiveness of graduate medical education governed by a respective Accreditation Council. Meanwhile, the principles defined by Deming aided in the general patient care quality improvement in hospitals, such as Brazosport Memorial Hospital situated in Texas’ city of Lake Jackson (Neutze & Stortz, 2018). Deming developed a continuous quality improvement basis, which is likely to revolutionize other industries along with manufacturing, as it has in healthcare.

In turn, Donabedian’s work continues to be fundamental in terms of improving care for various undesirable conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. Among his other achievements belong the hospitals’ rating, errors and disease prevention, and general financial regulations in the healthcare field. Overall, the milestones proposed by Donabedian created the guidelines for quality measurement and improvement that have been used worldwide by numerous healthcare managers and scholars for the last 50 years.

Future Impact

These pioneers’ work has already impacted healthcare quality systems and will continue to do so in the future. Deming has achieved his purpose of integrating quality features into the process itself compared to the previous approach of solely monitoring the results. He emphasized the interconnection of quality with education and leadership, stimulating confidence and pride in practicing physicians. This is what all modern organizations aspire to and want to achieve. His philosophy and models are capable of transforming such a large and established field as healthcare into a flexible and modern one.

In the meantime, Donabedian’s efforts resulted in establishing a healthcare delivery evaluation framework. Due to its flexibility, it is applicable to a wide range of cases, such as general quality measurements or particular issues in healthcare practice. Consequently, applying his approaches in the future will allow continuous improvement of quality in healthcare institutions through constant analysis and improvement.


In healthcare settings, quality improvement belongs among the most vital concerns. In this long process, it is advisable to rely on the work and views of such pioneers in quality improvement as Deming and Donabedian. Their ideas to this day successfully help organizations and healthcare providers in terms of improving the patients’ and staff’s quality of life by increasing service accessibility, decreasing costs, and ultimately achieving the desired outcomes.


Gillam, S. (2022). Quality Improvement in Primary Care: The Essential Guide. CRC Press

Neutze, D. M., & Stortz, L. (2018). Quality improvement. In Chronic Illness Care, 419-431. Springer.

Worten, K. M. (2021). Model for Improvements. In Pocket Guide to Quality Improvement in Healthcare, 11-22. Springer.

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