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Individuals who receive a product or a service from an organizational process

Direct Observation

A means of gathering data about a process in which participants in the process are observed


The characteristics that customers want to be evident in a healthcare product, service, or outcome

External Customers

Individuals from outside the organization who receive products or services from an organizational unit or department

Internal Customers

Individuals within the organization who receive products or services from an organizational unit or department


Level at which an organization can provide an offered product or service when requested and as advertised

Survey Tools

Research instruments that are used to gather data and information from respondents in a uniform manner through the administration of a predefined and structured set of questions and possible responses


How an organizational staff responds to unanticipated service needs (pain management)


The knowledge and courtesy of the staff that provide the goods and services

Perceived Quality

The organization's reputation for the quality of its services and consumer reaction to these services and products based on their experiences with the organization


The process of moving questions from a broad theme to a narrow theme in an unstructured interview

Survey Design

Define the goal of the survey in clear and precise terms, keeping the purpose and audience in mind

Case Management

The principal process by which healthcare organizations optimize the continuum of care for their patients; matches the patient's course with a predetermined optimal course (critical pathway, practice guideline)

Community Needs Assessment

An assessment tool used by HMOs to become acquainted with a community; by collecting and analyzing information about community healthcare needs, targets for interventions

Continuum of Care

The totality of healthcare services provided in all settings, from the least extensive to the most extensive; the emphasis is on treating individual patients at the level of care required by their course of treatment

Gantt Chart

A type of data display tool used to schedule a process and track its progress over time; used in clinical process improvement to depict clinical guidelines or critical pathways


A performance measure that healthcare organizations use to monitor the outcomes of a process; also called a criterion; internally, externally, or generic

Continuum of Care Model

Developed to meet the needs of patients, providers, and payers


Emergency Medical Transfer and Active Labor Act; postdischarge planning

External Criteria

Created by an organization outside the healthcare facility; insurance companies, peer review organizations, CMS

Generic Criteria

Applicable across many organizations and with many different kinds of patients

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