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Int J Dent Hyg. 2003 Aug;1(3):159-68.

Quality assurance in health care: past, present and future.

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Faculty of Dentistry, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


Quality of health care delivery is a growing concern globally given current budget restraints and increasing demands on health care providers. The variety of quality assurance and quality management activities equals the numerous ways health care practitioners of all genres provide health care. Dental hygienists around the world must be knowledgeable about quality assurance and management in health care as it is a significant factor in the evolution of the dental hygiene profession and the quality of oral health care provided by dental hygienists. The objective of this research was to conduct a literature review on quality assurance and quality management. A MEDLINE search from 1966 to 2002 was conducted. The search resulted in approximately 145 articles. Additional references from works generated by the search were also obtained. The literature revealed information on the background and history of quality assurance and quality management. Much of the literature was devoted to discussions of the validity, reliability and effectiveness of most prominent quality management activities being utilised in health care today. The investigation revealed numerous issues and barriers surrounding quality management. This article concludes with suggestions for future directions of quality assurance and quality management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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