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In health care, “cost” may be defined in different ways, depending on the individual’s perception. Two of these definitions are (1) when consumers and financiers pertain to the “price” of health care; and (2) when it is seen in a national perspective, referring to how much a nation spends on health care services (Shi & Singh, Let us write or edit the essay on your topic "Describe the relationship between health care cost and quality" with a personal 20% discount.. Try it now 2008, p. 484).
Health care quality is said to be judged subjectively, according to the standards of an individual or an organization. Donabedian (n.d.) identified three determinants of the overall quality of health care: (1) structure of care, referring to the qualifications of health care providers and characteristics of facilities; (2) process of care, or the manner health care is provided; and (3) outcome of care, or effectiveness of the care provided (as cited in Wiest, 1988, p. 54). It is contended that without the existence of these three, it is not possible to achieve a high quality of health care.
In health care, cost and quality possess a certain relationship, where cost does not always equate to quality (Marquis & Huston, 2009, p. 210). Considerably, O’Kane (2006) presents that “what higher spending often buys is unnecessary care, which...exposes patients to risk and wastes time, resources, and money, all of which could be put to better use” (as cited in Marquis & Huston , 2009, p. 210). In this light comes the concept of cost-effectivity, where the term “cost-effective” connotes that the product or service gained is adequate to the resources used and the finances spent.
For instance, the purchase of a needed drug previously not in stock increases cost of care, but is expected to increase care quality as well. However, in the event that a wrong drug is purchased and neglectfully given, the cost increases with a lowered quality of care. Further, being cost-effective also suggests
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