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Quality at IHS

The mission of the Indian Health Service (IHS) is to raise the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) to the highest level. To help realize this mission, improving the quality of care is an IHS priority. To meet this priority, the IHS is committed to continuing efforts to achieve and maintain accreditation of IHS direct service facilities, align service delivery processes that improve the patient experience, ensure patient safety, and improve processes and strengthen communications for early identification of risks.

The IHS Strategic Plan (Fiscal Year 2019-2023) provides the framework that guides quality improvement work within its three goals. The IHS Office of Quality (OQ) serves as the central hub for quality efforts across the IHS. The National Accountability Dashboard for Quality (NAD-Q) and the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) offer insight into how the IHS monitors key performance indicators.

IHS quality improvement efforts include:

  • 100 percent of all IHS hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals have achieved and maintained CMS conditions of participation
  • Full transition to a new credentialing software system
  • Full transition to a new safety reporting system
  • Developed a standard patient experience of care survey and an implementation strategy using electronic tablets
  • Established patient wait time standards for primary and urgent care settings
  • Implementation of improvement science frameworks to drive innovation and create a learning environment