Societal Cost of Poor Quality

Crosby: Cost of quality (“Quality is free”, 1979)

Cost of (poor) quality = cost of nonconformance

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Poor quality care has an impact on the patients directly affected, the services which provide that care, and society at large

unnecessary costs associated with waste and wasted effort when work is not done correctly the first time.

includes the costs of identifying errors, correcting them, and making up for the customer dissatisfaction that results.

This view leads naturally to a broadening of the definition of quality by introducing the concept of adding value, in addition to ensuring the highest quality of care.


Improving quality involves three aims (“The triple aim: Care, health, and cost”):

Improving the experience of care

Improving the health of populations

Reducing the per capita costs of health care

At a more micro level, improving quality also involves professional responsibility and development