How to Evaluate Quality

When it comes to choosing a hospital, your health – and your family's health – depends on the decisions you make.


The bottom line is, when you’re treated at a hospital that offers the best possible care, you are most likely to get the best possible results. Some hospitals simply do a better job than others of helping you stay healthy, and returning you to wellness if you become ill.


What is quality health care?


"Quality" may seem like a difficult concept to measure, but in essence, quality health care means doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, for the right patient. And after all this has been done, quality care also means that patients should come away with the best possible results.


Fortunately, health care quality can be measured. These tools, called "measures," monitor the care that health professionals provide and offer a scientific basis for comparison. More and more public and private groups are working on ways to measure and report on the quality of health care in ways that are meaningful to consumers, and UW Health is proud to participate in these initiatives.


By asking our patients how we've done, and by measuring our "outcomes" – what happens to our patients after they're treated by UW Health physicians – we hope to tell you our quality story. With our quality data, we aim to offer you a clear narrative, examples and illustrations that put the volumes of statistics and scientific data into context for you.


And since quality is something that can be measured, it can also be improved. We couldn't tell you our quality story without also telling you about what we're doing every day at UW Health to improve your health care and offer you a better experience when you come through our doors.


What will I learn from UW Health's quality data?


Our quality data will tell you about how we're doing in a number of important categories, including:

  • The Basics: How well UW Health delivers the basics of good care, including how well our doctors communicate with patients, and how easy it is to access our services.
  • Staying Well: How well UW Health helps our patients avoid illness and stay healthy. This includes preventive care, screenings we provide for diseases and health problems, immunizations and other services geared toward healthier living.
  • Getting Better: How well UW Health helps our patients recover when they're sick or injured. This includes our treatment and follow-up care, and our patients' experiences and satisfaction with treatment.
  • Living with a Chronic Illness: How well UW Health helps our patients with ongoing, chronic conditions take care of themselves, control their symptoms, avoid complications and manage their daily activities.
  • Support at the End of Life: How well UW Health cares for people and their families when needs change dramatically because of terminal illness. This includes palliative or end-of-life care, pain management, spiritual care and support for caregivers.