Quality Assurance in Acute Inpatient Services

  • Jack A. Wolford


Improved quality of care for patients has been sought by physicians and has been their goal since the time of Hippocrates. Although certainly not binding, the Hippocratic oath has served as an ethical guide for the medical profession since its beginning. Perhaps the most quoted sentence and dictum from the oath is “I will prescribe regimen for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone” (Dorland, 1981). Although the term quality of careis not mentioned, it is implied in the Hippocratic oath. Hippocrates and those who followed over the next several centuries during the height of the Greek and Roman Empires tried to understand mental illness and contributed positively to care of the mentally ill. It was not long, however, before ignorance, superstition, and stigma played important roles in the neglect and maltreatment of the “insane.” From time to time, a voice was raised on the side of the mentally ill and their needs, but it was largely unheard or disregarded. The mentally ill or insane were beaten, accused of witchcraft, and left to starve and were housed with vagrants, criminals, and other of society’s rejects.


Quality Assurance Quality Assurance Program Peer Review Case Conference Utilization Review 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack A. Wolford
    • 1
  1. 1.Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of Pittsburgh, School of MedicinePittsburghUSA

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