Six Dimensions of Care

Quality Reports

In 2001, the Institute of Medicine outlined six Aims for Improvement for health care in their report, "Crossing the Quality Chasm: a New Health System for the 21st Century." These overarching principles help provide specific direction for policymakers, health care leaders, clinicians, regulators, purchasers and others to implement change and improve health care.

On each quality page, you will see icons that relate to these dimensions of care. Since all six of these dimensions could apply to any given measure, we select only the top 1 to 3 icons that best represent our quality care and improvement efforts.

Six Dimensions of Care:

imgSafe imgEffective imgPatientcenteredimgTimely imgEfficient imgEquitable

1. Safe: Avoiding injuries to patients from the care that is intended to help them.
2. Effective: Providing services based on scientific knowledge to all who could benefit and refraining from providing services to those not likely to benefit (avoiding underuse and overuse). Doing the right thing for the right person at the right time.
3. Family-centered: Providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.
4. Timely: Reducing waits and sometimes unfavorable delays for both those who receive and those who give care.
5. Efficient: Avoiding waste, in particular waste of equipment, supplies, ideas and energy.
6. Equal: Providing care that does not vary in quality because of personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, geographic location and socio-economic status.

Adapted from the Institute of Medicine's aims for improvement. Note the institute refers to patient-centered versus family-centered and equitable versus equal.