Structure, Process, and Outcome

For many years, hospital
accreditation bodies assumed that if the structural criteria were met,
that is, that the physical plant, the qualifications of the staff, and
the necessary equipment were in place, the quality of the services would
automatically be acceptable. Subsequently, accreditation groups decided
that they had also better look at the medical records to see how the
services were being provided. They assumed that, if the necessary
structure was in place, and the required services were delivered as
prescribed, the quality of care would be acceptable. Now, these same
accrediting groups find it necessary to look at the outcomes of care as

  • Describe “structure, process, and
    outcome” in the assessment of the quality of medical care, and provide
    examples of each dimension.
  • How are the three dimensions related?
  • Can these relationships be trusted to
    assure the quality of care in the complex, high-tech world of modern
    medicine? If not, why?

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