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Quality Management Methods


There has been an increased interest in the health care industry with a need to focus on the application of total quality management. Given many facilities, this process will facilitate the improvement of quality services offered to their patients. Total quality management is a management approach with a primary focus on customer satisfaction. In other words, all members and processes in an organization work on the improvement of the products and services offered by this organization. There are various continuous quality improvement standards and programs that have been set by the regulators in the health industry (Lighter & Fair, 2000). This paper will identify various quality improvement programs and standards and provide a discussion of the continuous quality improvement program offered by the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Also, the paper will provide an evaluation of the facility's adherence to the recognized standards and principles of quality.

The analysis of the continuous quality program in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania will include a comparison of the organization's standards with the recognized ones. It will also provide some advice that can be followed by the facility's management to improve the quality of the services provided. In such a way, the total quality management approach is based on customer focus and a continuous improvement of the system it uses in its operational activities. Total quality management continuous improvement, in its turn, is based on strategic decision making and effective communication, which integrates quality in the organization's culture and activities (Victoria & Brennan, 2012).

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Principles of Total Quality Management and Continuous Quality Improvement

Various principles have been used in total quality management to ensure continuous improvement of the services offered. Focus on customers is the basic principle of total quality management. A customer is viewed as the main determinant of the quality of services that an organization offers. The organization engages in various activities to ensure the improvement in the quality of its services. These include employee training, technology upgrading, and integration of quality in the design process of the organization (Coddington & Sands, 2008). However, customers remain the main determinants of the quality level of services offered by the health facility.

Total involvement of the employees is yet another essential principle in total quality management that ensures continuous improvement. The organization should make sure that all employees are involved in continuous quality management. In such a way, all the employees should work for a common goal, and this principle should become a part of the organization's culture. The total quality management system should be process-centered, where the steps used in the provision of services are continuously monitored. It should also use an integrated system, where the organizational structure is horizontally and vertically integrated to ensure the provision of quality services (Lighter & Fair, 2000).

Total quality management is also based on the principle of continuous improvement. In other words, the organization looks for innovative strategies that will help it to become more competitive and make its operations more effective and efficient. This will involve a strategic and systematic approach, which will facilitate the achievement of the organization's mission and goals. Also, the total quality management system is based on fact-based decision-making. To put it simply, organizations continually collect and analyze data, which is essential for accurate decision-making. Effective communication throughout the organization is yet another principle of total quality management (Coddington & Sands, 2008). Timely communication is essential in ensuring that the morale of the employees is maintained, and the strategic decisions are implemented in the right way.

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Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Continuous Quality Improvement

The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania has demonstrated its commitment to continuous quality improvement. It has created such an environment, where all employees are engaged in this process. For example, the employees take ownership of the organization processes through improved education, teamwork, collaborations, and communication. The organization is based on strong leadership at all levels, which ensures a lasting commitment to quality improvement. The continuous quality improvement program at HUP is based on a focus on its customers, information-based decision making, and integration of the work processes of the facility. Teamwork is also one of the vital elements of continuous quality improvement at the facility. In this perspective, common understanding and collaboration would make teamwork more effective, which, in turn, will have a positive impact on the facility's operations and processes (Victoria & Brennan, 2012).

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The management of the facility focuses on strategic planning through setting specific strategic goals to improve the teaching-learning processes. The institution incorporates all levels of employees in continuous quality improvement from students to senior management. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania has its system; it is built on unit-based clinical teamwork leadership, which is composed of a physician leader, quality manager, and nurse leader. These units can initiate specific unit operations, which are designed and developed to improve the quality of services offered to patients. The team members hold various formal and informal meetings, which play a vital role in developing and implementing new initiatives. They also facilitate sharing of the best practices between different teams in the organization (PennState, 2013). The teamwork facilitates collaboration between different teams and levels of employees such as nurses, physicians, and quality leaders. It also enables the development of closer working relationships with a sense of shared accountability and enhanced unit performances.

The unit-based management of the organization has led to improved performance, in particular reducing patient suffering while improving the quality of services offered. It has also led to improved adherence to the health system standards and increased levels of patient satisfaction (Victoria & Brennan, 2012). Improved work relations, resulting from better communication between nurses and physicians have also made a significant change in improving quality management.

Comparison of the Institution's Standards and Evaluation of the Institution's Adherence to the Recognized Standards

The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's adherence to the standards has been remarkable due to the system that has been put in place by the institution. The basic principles of total quality management and continuous quality improvement are based on teamwork in the organization and the total involvement of employees. These principles have been demonstrated well because the organization operates in units, which include employees from different levels, such as a physician leader, nurse leader, and quality management leader (Feng & Antony, 2010). Incorporation of the employees from different levels in the teams improves work relationships, leading to improved quality of services that are being offered to patients.

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The focus on customers is yet another essential factor in the continuous quality improvement strategy of the institution. Customers determine and evaluate the quality of the services offered by the facility. However, the organization has to develop and adopt modern technology to offer high-quality services. The organization has also to ensure that the competent staff is being employed; high-quality services are being offered to their customers, as well as continuous training is being provided to its employees. This has been a major goal of the facility since the employees are consistently using modern technology that has been introduced by the institution for work and training purposes (Coddington & Sands, 2008).

Various recommendations can be used to design strategies and ensure the development of continuous quality improvement and total quality management in the institution. For example, the facility should encourage inter-hospital exchange programs, where its employees can interact with employees from other hospitals. This can facilitate continuous improvement of quality and enhance the total management of quality in the institution. The organization should also introduce performance recognition programs, which play a vital role in motivating employees to work more effectively to ensure the highest quality of services in the organization.

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