About Health Care Quality


Health care quality and patient safety are deeply connected. Both are central to ODPHP’s mission and efforts to improve the health of all Americans.

Health care quality is a broad term that encompasses many aspects of patient care. Quality health care is care that is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable.1

Patient safety is an important aspect of health care quality and a key priority for ODPHP. To ensure patient safety, health care systems must strive to prevent errors, learn from the errors that do occur, and create a culture of safety that involves health care professionals, organizations, and patients.2

Our Initiatives

Our health care quality initiatives aim to increase patient safety through national action plans focused on the prevention of adverse drug events (unexpected or dangerous effects from medication) and health care-associated infections (infections that patients develop while receiving health care), as well as other aspects of patient care.

We offer the following free online trainings for clinicians, health professional students, and patient advocates. Some of these courses offer continuing medical education (CME) credit.

1 Committee on Quality of Health Care in America; Institute of Medicine (2001). Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Chapter 1. Available from http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10027/crossing-the-quality-chasm-a-new-health-system-for-the

2 Mitchell PH. Defining Patient Safety and Quality Care. In: Hughes RG, editor. Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2008 Apr. Chapter 1. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2681/