Framework for continuous quality improvement in the provision of pharmaceutical care

H. S. Gitlow, M. J. Melby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Implementation of the continuous quality improvement (CQI) process by health-care organizations is described. CQI involves a chain of events: Improvement in quality leads to decreased costs because of less rework, fewer mistakes, fewer delays, and better use of people and materials; productivity improves; better quality and lower price facilitate capturing the market, staying in business, and providing more jobs. The implementation of CQI within an organization involves the development, standardization, and deployment of standard methods and the use of daily management, cross-functional management, policy management, departmental management, and quality control circles to maintain, improve, or innovate standard methods. An organization's standard methods, key indicators (indicators for measuring performance of the organization's key functions), and standards emanate from its vision and mission statements and midterm and short-term strategic plans. In a quality control audit, an agreed-upon method, as monitored through a key indicator, is used to measure a result against an established standard; when a problem is detected, a quality control diagnosis is conducted and the method is changed if necessary. Use of this process requires the creation of standard methods for all important aspects of the organization's services, including operations, clinical services, and training of personnel. Health-care managers can use the principles of CQI in assessing the quality of care provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1917-1925
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991


  • Administration
  • Guidelines
  • Pharmacists, hospital
  • Pharmacy, institutional, hospital
  • Quality assurance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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