Frequently Asked Questions

How is health care quality defined?

The U.S. Institute of Medicine defines “quality” as the degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge.

An Institute of Medicine’s report identified six aims for health care quality improvement: safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable.

How is quality assured within organizations?

The South Dakota Department of Health regulates and licenses health care providers in the state. They also survey and certify health care organizations to ensure the delivery of safe care. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) surveys and certified health care facilities for compliance with quality standards.

What is Brookings Health System doing to ensure high quality standards?

Brookings Health System continuously looks for ways to improve care and the patient experience. We actively gather feedback from patients and residents through surveys conducted by third party companies. We also have established service care teams within our health system who analyze the feedback and implement methods to further enhance our care and improve overall patient satisfaction. In addition, we work with other health care providers in our community, such as pharmacies, assisted living facilities, and clinics, to ensure care continues successfully once individuals leave our facilities. 

What is the best third party source for learning about health care quality?

There are many organizations and websites dedicated to comparing health care among providers, but not all compare apples-to-apples. Some health care comparison organizations run a pay-to-play system, ie, health care facilities pay a fee to be rated by their organization. Others are skewed to favor urban health care centers, ignoring the special needs of rural facilities. 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) quality indicator websites, including Hospital Compare, Nursing Home Compare and Home Health Compare, are among the top sources for comparing health care quality from organization to organization. Their results are consumer driven and compare facilities on an even playing field.