Due to the rapid change in the health care environment and the growing awareness of health service consumers, health care quality has becomes a major concern of hospital administrators. In 1999, the Taiwan Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation (TJCHA) cooperated with the Maryland Hospital Association to develop and implement the Taiwan Quality Indicator Project (TQIP).
The TJCHA considers the success of the TQIP— with the participation of all hospitals in Taiwan—to be a priority matter.
The objective of the TQIP is to establish international definitions for, and to collect data on, a limited number of recognized quality indicators (QIs) for which data are readily available in a number of hospitals (e.g., 3-day hospital readmission rate), as well as setting up panels of experts to identify additional, evidence-based QIs in six key areas of health care (asthma, diabetes, artificial joint replacement surgery, uterine leiomyomata surgery, hemodialysis, peptic ulcer treatment), with the aim of a more comprehensive coverage of health care quality.
The TQIP responds to the growing interest of health care policymakers and researchers in measuring and reporting the quality of medical care. Such measures could be said to represent the “value” side of the “value for money” equation in health care—a key issue in measuring the performance of health systems.
At CMUH, we have already instituted strategies to begin collecting technical QIs, often for benchmarking purposes, in a performance measurement setting. These efforts have led us to a great deal of progress in implementing quality and safety indicators at the levels of individual departments or physicians.