Improving quality is very important in the conduct of any business undertaking. This will enable the management of the business to provide better service and products so as to secure the loyalty and the commendation of the customers of the business. A healthcare organization will greatly benefit from quality improvements.

There are several areas where quality improvements may be implemented in the organization: the delivery of healthcare, file management and information system of the organization, the skills and service delivery of healthcare staff and the overall client relationship among others.Quality improvement may take time to be implemented. A quality improvement framework grounded in the organizational culture with the full support of the management has great potentials for success. An audit of the existing processes and outcomes of the organization is necessary to obtain a good picture of its current performance and arrive at recommendations for quality improvement.

As such, measures of quality should be understood by the decision makers as well as the team tasked to conduct the organizational audit and quality improvement initiatives (Shortell, Bennett & Byck, 2001).The quality of both the processes being followed by the healthcare organization and the outcomes of these processes should be taken into account by the quality improvement initiative. The total quality of the healthcare organization will be ensured with this approach. Outcomes are important to determine the performance of healthcare practitioners. A greater number of saved lives, minimize mortality, more efficient and effective service are all part of the outcome that are being measured by quality initiatives.

Yet, the total quality of the organization from the management down to the file and rank employees have to be considered in order to get an end-to-end view of the performance of the organization (Al-Assaf & Schemele, 1993) Outcome Measures of Quality in Healthcare Outcome measures of quality look at the end result of the healthcare such as the efficacy of the treatment given, the improved quality of life as a result of the healthcare service delivered and the safety from disease and other illnesses because of the healthcare service.In a manner of speaking, outcome measures of quality pertain to the effectiveness or efficacy of the health care service. If outcome measures are used for quality assessment and improvement, the organization can improve its outcomes and enhance its image in the community as well as the esteem of its clients. The organization may even be hailed in its efforts to deliver quality health care at all costs. Furthermore, outcome measures directly point to the actual healthcare services delivery of the organization.

Lower quality in the outcomes of healthcare delivery may help identify the areas that need improvement in the organization such as equipment, number of practitioners and staff and the costs associated with these improvements. On the other hand, outcome measures of quality tend to disregard the processes and the throughput of healthcare services delivery. This may also be a more costly approach to quality improvement because the focus is on improving outcomes. By focusing on improving the outcomes, the organization might need to spend more money on equipment, training and other necessary tools to improve outcome.

Another disadvantage of using outcome measures is that outcome measures may disregard the importance of processes, efficiency and the cost savings that could be derived from improved processes. Process Measures of Quality Process measures of quality focus on the procedures and system of healthcare services delivery. It may be seen as a deeper level analysis of the organization more than the outcome measures of quality. If the processes in the organization are studied and understood, better outcomes might be derived from existing processes or probably the same outcomes may be derived but with more efficient processes.

Either way, the organization can save resources, money and time in improving quality. In addition to this, process measures also help ensure that the outcome of healthcare services will be consistent (Lilford, Brown & Nicholl, 2007). Process measures also helps capture relevant information in healthcare quality that may be neglected by outcome measures. This way, there is a more in depth understanding of the organization as a system.

On the other hand, process measures may be more tedious compared with outcome measures.The reason behind this is that it has to take into account more variables and measures. Furthermore, process measures may also be too critical of the processes of the organization and this may lead to disgruntlement among the employees. In this regard, therefore, the quality improvement initiative for the healthcare organization should integrate both the outcome measures and the process measures so as to arrive at a more complete look at the level of quality being delivered by the organization.