C-Suite Executives on What 'Quality' Means in healthcare

Natasia Langfelder |


“Quality care” is a phrase that is thrown around a lot in the healthcare industry. However, there is no standardized definition of “quality” across the board. In order to define “quality care,” we need to examine what quality actually means to experienced healthcare professionals. We called upon the members of our healthcare knowledge network to explain what quality means to them and their organizations.

Patti GillianoPatti Gilliano

Chief Nursing Officer

Spring Valley Medica Center, UHS Corporation

We define quality by looking at great outcomes, eliminating infections that could potentially be caused in hospitals. Quality means reducing mortality and having improved sepsis outcomes. A quality environment is a safe environment where patients/families and staff are injury free. Quality and safety equals a positive patient experience and great staff engagement.

Mayank ShahMayank Shah

Chief Medical Officer

Presence Health Partners

Quality in healthcare has several important elements:

  1. It has to be safe
  2. It has to impact healthcare outcomes (mortality, morbidity, evidence-based)
  3. It needs to be convenient and efficient (patient experience)
  4. It has to be reliable and consistent (eliminate disparity)

In the end, achieving quality means to be self-reflective and to never be satisfied with current performance.

Jen StowersJen Stowers

Chief Care Coordination Office, Chief Nursing Officer

Centra Health

Quality is the relentless pursuit of excellent patient care be engaged employees, that is safe, cost-effective, evidence based with stellar outcomes and highly satisfied patients.


joel shuJoel Shu

Vice President, Population Health

Catholic Health Services of Long Island

Each person may have an individual definition and much of it will be semantics. As opposed to morale, integrity, and other indicators of excellent work, I don’t think of quality in the abstract, but rather, a discrete set measures of that serve as a proxy of “excellent care.”

Paula HafemanPaula Hafeman

Chief Nursing Officer, Eastern WI Division

Hospital Sisters Health System

Quality is embracing excellence in service, clinical outcomes and safety; as well as being reliable on the journey to zero harm.


Jennifer harringtonJennifer Harrington

Vice President, Clinical Support Services

Anne Arundel Medical Center

Quality is:

  • Providing the right care, at the right place, at the right time
  • Customer focused, efficient and safe care
  • Respect for the individual
  • Outcome oriented, metric driven
  • Financial stewardship

Vineet Goel

Facility Chief Medical Officer

Atrium Health

To define quality, we need to look at it through the patient perspective. What is the patient experience before and after the encounter?  Using patient and family as partners is essential to define quality.

  • Improving outcomes
  • Reducing low value services
  • Increasing high value services
  • Reducing errors and complications  

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