Why Is Quality Important?

“Quality” health care has a wide variety of meanings. To some people, sitting in the waiting room a short time to see a doctor means “quality” health care. To others, being treated politely by the doctor's staff means “quality” health care. There are those who define “quality” health care by how much time the doctor devotes to examining you.

While these are important, "clinical" quality health care is even more important. For instance, if you take your car to a mechanic, the people in the auto shop can be friendly and listen to your complaints but the most important factor is whether or not they fix the problem with your car. Similarly, when you go to a hospital or provider, you want them to fix your problem and help make you better.


There are many ways to measure "clinical" quality health care. The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) has assembled a range of ways to identify "clinical" quality health care in hospitals. These measures are based on national practices that measure the clinical performances of hospitals by examining data gathered from hospitals.