Implementing a total quality index within health care organizations
Managers in health care are faced with a number of issues and must continually re-examine the way they do business from service delivery to finance. Many health care organizations have initiated various quality management programs in response to the variety of problems facing the industry and have attempted to replicate the success that the manufacturing sector has had with quality management. However, because of the special conditions that exist in health care organizations such as multiple hierarchies and large third party payers, it is important to investigate whether these types of programs are effective and to introduce approaches for improvement. The purpose of this study is to introduce an approach that managers can use to help them better understand quality management. Ultimately this can be used as a tool for improving quality. This study looks at perceptions of actual quality management on various levels within hospitals. Differences between these perceptions for both managers and supervisors in hospital departments will be illustrated. This will be done with the goal of understanding how occurrences in the external and internal environment of employees effect their perceptions of quality management. The tool used to do this is a total quality index developed here and based on work done previously by Saraph, Benson, and Schroeder (1989) and Benson, Saraph, and Schroeder (1991). The total quality index is based on a numerical scale representation of actual perceptions of hospital employees along eight critical factors. Actual quality management is defined as, 'managers' assessment of the current practice of quality management in their business unit'. By looking at contextual factors of a quality management program, an organization may be able to sustain cultural changes that encourage quality improvement. The total quality index was implemented in four hospitals over a one-year period. From three to four departments in each hospital completed the study covering both clinical and non-clinical areas. Along with computing the index, interviews were conducted and a review of the literature was done. The information will be looked at in the following way: along the critical factors by hospital and department and along a clinical versus non-clinical classification.
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|Authors:||Mohebbi, Barbara J|
|Type of publication:||Other|
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