Getting Quality Care

Quality Health Care Is:

Care that works — you should be given care that medical research has shown works best to catch health problems early, find out what's wrong, and help the most with the fewest side effects.

As safe as possible — your health care should help you and not cause you harm.

Timely — you should get as much care as you need as soon as you need it, but no unnecessary care.

Appropriate for you — your care should be given by health professionals who are skilled, knowledgeable, and respectful. They should be clear communicators and involve you in decisions about your care.


Unfortunately, Not All Health Care Is Quality Care

Research shows that health care quality varies in Oregon. Studies have also found that a good deal of health care does not measure up to quality standards. For example:

  • Many patients are not given the type of treatment that research has shown to work best for their condition. Instead, they are given other care that doesn't work as well.
  • Many patients are not able to get the care they need as soon as they need it.
  • Many patients get unsafe care, such as being given the wrong medicine.

You play a powerful role in getting quality care. When patients are informed and involved, they get better care. For more tips about how to be informed and involved, check out the rest of our site.


For more information about what quality health care is, why it's important and how to get it, download and print this brochure.

Tips for Staying Healthy

You deserve to have health professionals who are skilled and knowledgeable. They should be respectful, communicate clearly, and involve you in decisions about your care.

Find Trustworthy Health Information on the Web

Some information on the web is great. And some isn't. Since the internet is not regulated, websites can say anything they like. As a result, some websites have accurate and reliable health information, but others do not.

Tips to Help You Get Quality Care in the Hospital

In health care, as in everything else, mistakes happen. People get the wrong drugs, or infections, or even the wrong surgery. Every year, 100,000 people in the U.S. die because of mistakes in the hospital. Patients (that's you) can help avoid these mistakes. Use these tools and resources to learn what you can do to increase your chances of a safe and successful experience in the hospital.

Get the Right Care at the Right Time

Getting quality health care means that you get as much as you need of the right kind of care — care that is safe and effective. The trouble is that sometimes people get care that doesn't work, isn't necessary, or they get no care at all.

Get Care That Works

Care that “works the best” is care that gets the best results for your health and is as safe as possible. Doctors and scientists do a lot of research to find out what works best to catch health problems early, what tests are best for finding out what's wrong and which treatments help the most and have the fewest side effects. Doctors who are national experts use this information to develop quality standards or “guidelines” that you can read and use to help you know what kind of care you need.