IHS launches new quality framework to improve care outcomes and patient experience

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On Wednesday, Indian Health Services released its 2016-2017 Quality Framework, which details how the organization plans to implement a sustainable quality improvement program designed to enhance patient experience and care outcomes.

The framework was developed through an assessment of current IHS quality policies and practices and by incorporating standards established by national experts. Also, tribal leaders were consulted on the framework and previously established best practices from across the IHS health system were included in the development.

Specific quality priorities highlighted in the framework include strengthening organizational capacity, creating a safety culture in which all staff members feel comfortable reporting medical errors, creating processes to facilitate learning from mistakes and reducing patient wait times.

"The IHS Quality Framework will guide our efforts as we continue to improve the level of service we are providing to our patients," said Mary L. Smith, IHS principal deputy director. "This is an important milestone for IHS and tribal communities and will benefit patients by establishing a consistent approach to quality across all IHS facilities."

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