What is Quality Assurance? The goal of “quality assurance” is to maintain a high quality of healthcare for individuals in Ontario. It is a commitment to the public by those within the various health disciplines, that they will work towards the objective of obtaining a degree of excellence in the services that they provide to every patient. Why is quality assurance important for the public? Ontarians’ have a right to safe and ethical healthcare. Quality assurance aims to improve the quality of the service delivered by practitioners at every level. It makes sure that: a health service meets specific and outlined requirements by the Regulated College the public has confidence that the requirements, rules and regulations are being followed This involves a clear understanding of what is meant by “quality.” It also includes a credible and reliable mechanism for evaluating the care that is given. It basically means doing those things necessary to meet and exceed the needs and expectations of those being served and doing those things right, every time. How is this achieved? By constantly measuring the effectiveness of the health professionals/organizations that provide treatments/services. How is quality assurance evaluated? Evaluating the quality of healthcare includes: Assessing the quality of care Identifying problems or weaknesses in the delivery of care Designing actions that will overcome these deficiencies A follow-up audit to confirm that the corrective steps have been effective. Colleges in Ontario have quality assurance programs that are established by Government requirements. These programs work to: Develop, establish and maintain programs and standards of practice to assure the quality of practice of the profession Develop, establish and maintain standards of knowledge and skill Develop programs to promote continuing evaluation, competence and improvement among the College members. The end result of quality assurance programs is always to improve patient care.