Quality Health Care: Comparison between U.S. and Nigeria

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.04.02.Art037

Authors : Abiodun Saheed Subair


The target of a healthcare system is to employ healthcare, social and other resources to meet people’s health needs within a given area (Kerleau and Pelletier-Fleury 2002). Ideally, a healthcare system should encompass everyone, from the person who is ill and in need of care to the paramedic who brings the person to a hospital, from the nurses who attend to the sick person to the doctors who diagnose the patient, from the pharmacist who dispenses drugs for the patients ‘use to the surgeon who performs surgery on the patient (Wei et al. 2007). In many countries, the health care system also includes the insurance agencies (social or private) and insurers make decisions based on the type and extent of care to be administered. Large differences in healthcare systems exist between countries. These variations are even more evident between developed nations for example United States of America and developing nations like Nigeria. This paper compares the quality management structures and processes commonly found in United States healthcare organizations with that of Nigeria’s healthcare organizations. According to Varkey (2010), the Institute of Medicine (IOM)defines quality of care as the degree to which health services increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge. The Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ) also describes quality of care as doing the right thing at the right time for the right individual to get the best possible results (Varkey, 2010 p.1).Avedis Donabedian created the structure, the process, and the outcome paradigm for assessing quality in healthcare that had profound influence than The is often thought of as the modern founder and leader of the quality field (Varkey, 2010; Graham, 1995). This paper will base the comparison between the quality of United States healthcare organizations and Nigeria’s healthcare organizations on the Donabedian model. According to Graham (1995), the structure denotes the attributes of the settings in which care occur this include the attributes of material resources (such as facilities, equipment, and money), of human resources (such as the number and qualifications of personnel), and of organizational structure (such as medical staff organization, methods of peer review, and methods of reimbursement). The process is what is actually done in giving and receiving care which include patient’s activities in seeking care and carrying it out as well as the practitioner’s activities in making a diagnosis and recommending or implementing treatment. Outcome denotes the effects of care on the health status of patients and populations.


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