The quality of a service is the degree to which it conforms to pre-set standards of care.

Source: Donabedian A (1980) The definition of quality: a conceptual exploration. In: Explorations in Quality Assessment and Monitoring. Volume 1: The Definition of Quality and Approaches to its Assessment. Health Administration Press, Ann Arbor.

Example of the term in use:

In 2016, WHO published standards for improving the quality of maternal and newborn care in health-care facilities. The standards place people at the centre of the care by improving both the provision of, and patients’ experience of, health care; they are a critical part of strengthening health systems.

World Health Organization. Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health. What is Quality of Care and why is it important? http://www.who.int/maternal_child_adolescent/topics/quality-of-care/definition/en/


Patient safety can, at its simplest, be defined as: The avoidance, prevention and amelioration of adverse outcomes or injuries stemming from the process of healthcare. … the reduction of harm should be the primary aim of patient safety, not the elimination of error.

Source: Vincent C (2006) Patient Safety. Churchill Livingstone.

Example of the term in use:

Ensuring the safety of patients is a high visibility issue for those delivering health care – not just in any single country, but worldwide. The safety of health care is now a major global concern. Services that are unsafe and of low quality lead to diminished health outcomes and even to harm. The experience of countries that are heavily engaged in national efforts clearly demonstrates that, although health systems differ from country to country, many threats to patient safety have similar causes and often similar solutions.

World Health Organization (2017) Patient Safety. Making health care safer. Page 1. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/255507/WHO-HIS-SDS-2017.11-eng.pdf;jsessionid=EA6F11197E4AEB388AF7E7E08A885C93?sequence=1