Health care delivery

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Health care delivery is "the concept concerned with all aspects of providing and distributing health services to a patient population."[1] It includes the clinical, administrative economic aspects of the delivery of services, and assessment of the effectiveness with which services were delivered.

Unfortunately, effectiveness of delivery can have quite different metrics as perceived by medical personnel and by patients. Objective medical objective, for example, might focus on the years of life additional life provided by some intervention. Sometimes, patient satisfaction is more focused the experience of delivery. The ideal is to have humane and effective care, but sometimes humane care does not actually change outcomes. This is not to say that psychological effects are not an aspect of effective treatment, and that some interventions may be palliative but still justified in improving comfort.

Health care quality assurance is "activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps."[2]

Patient satisfaction is "the degree to which the individual regards the health care service or product or the manner in which it is delivered by the provider as useful, effective, or beneficial."[3]


According the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the goals of health care are the triple aim:[4]

  1. The quality of care
  2. The experience of care
  3. The cost per capita of care

According to the Institute of Medicine, the goals are:[5]

  1. Safe
  2. Effective
  3. Patient-centered
  4. Timely
  5. Efficient
  6. Equitable


  1. Anonymous (2024), Health care delivery (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  2. Anonymous (2024), Health care quality assurance (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  3. Anonymous (2024), Patient satisfaction (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  4. Berwick DM, Nolan TW, Whittington J (2008). "The triple aim: care, health, and cost.". Health Aff (Millwood) 27 (3): 759-69. DOI:10.1377/hlthaff.27.3.759. PMID 18474969. Research Blogging.
  5. Institute of Medicine. Building a Better Delivery System: A New Engineering/Health Care Partnership. 2005 ISBN 030909643X