The Role of the Consumer in Quality Assurance

  • Agnes B. Hatfield
  • H. Bernard Smith


The need for accountability in the provision of mental health services is receiving considerable attention. It is generally agreed that, at a minimum, services should be safe and effective, accessible to those who need them, and reasonably priced. The term quality assuranceis usually given to the efforts that mental health providers make to ensure these minimum standards. Peer review, boards of examiners and licensure, professional organizations, and educational institutions all play a part in ensuring that these standards will be met. Considerable effort goes into the process of identifying objectives, creating appropriate evaluation devices, and recommending and implementing change. This effort is to be expected from responsible professionals, and the public would be truly ill served if they did not meet these expectations. However, mental health professionals alone cannot ensure that all people will be well served; they are providers of service and necessarily reflect the biases of those who have personal financial gain at stake.


Mental Health Mental Illness Mental Health Service Mental Health Professional Community Mental Health 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agnes B. Hatfield
    • 1
  • H. Bernard Smith
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EducationUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Private practiceUSA

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