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What is Quality? FAQ

Why is quality important? The quality of the hospital and doctor you choose will have a direct influence on how well you do. Read through these frequently asked questions to learn more.

What are quality outcomes?

In simplest terms, a quality, health care outcome is the result of a particular medical treatment or surgery. Hospitals traditionally report on key outcomes like low mortality rates, surgical infections, hospital readmissions, and length of stay. But patients having major medical procedures — such as open-heart surgery, a total joint replacement, or pediatric interventions — also want more detailed outcomes for their specific conditions. 

Why are quality outcomes important to you?

Quality outcomes allow you to evaluate how well UPMC in central Pa.  performs in key areas compared with other hospitals. Those same outcomes also encourage us to continually improve the quality of our care through innovation, the introduction of best practices, and ongoing professional education and training.

How can quality outcomes help you with your health care decisions?

By providing you access to UPMC’s quality outcomes, our goal is to empower you to make confident and well-informed decisions about important health care considerations like surgeries and hospital care.

Where can I find UPMC in central Pa.'s basic quality measures?

At UPMC in central Pa., we measure quality in many ways, including patient satisfaction scores, continuous clinical performance monitoring, medical outcomes, and ongoing research.

While no single measurement can provide a complete look at any hospital’s quality, there are a variety of resources that let you compare UPMC in central Pa.'s performance with those of other hospitals.

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Hospital Compare offers comprehensive quality information compiled in collaboration with other government agencies, and consumer and medical organizations.
  • The Pennsylvania Healthcare Quality Alliance provides quality data within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 
  • The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council offers annual performance reports on Pennsylvania hospitals.

Other respected sources of information include The Joint Commission’s Top Performer on Key Quality Measures program and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), used by many health plans to measure quality and performance.

What questions should you ask your doctor about quality outcomes?

Your doctor can help you identify the best sources for quality data for your specific condition.  Most of all, you should always feel comfortable asking about your physician’s own expertise and outcomes, such the number of procedures done, percentage of negative outcomes, and how those numbers compare to national averages.

UPMC in central Pa.'s Find a Doctor service provides details on our physicians’ educational backgrounds, board certifications, hospital affiliations, specialties, and board certifications.

Contact Us

If you have questions about UPMC in central Pa.'s  quality information or data, please contact our Performance Improvement Department at 717-231-8469.

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