Total quality management (TQM) in healthcare has been regarded as the foremost quality-oriented philosophy applied to clinical institutions. The interest it has received recently arises from newer governmental regulations, sophistication in clinical operation, and customer influences on healthcare institutions. This is because changes in governmental regulations, hospital environment, and customer preferences influence management decisions and the system through which a medical institution is operated.
This system is widely exercised — although some institutions still refuse the improvement of their system. This is because managers and physicians of typical institutions emphasize only their perspective of what quality is and how their works should be executed. The philosophy of Total Quality Management is rooted in the Japanese management style which is enhanced through improving institutions integral to the growth of the society.
Through this, management emphasizes innovation to enhance collaboration and present quality service to customers in every level of social services and administration.
Total Quality Management (TQM) in healthcare can thus be described as a comprehensive method of organizational structure to enhance quality strategic knowledge and application to reduce costs while satisfying customers' requirements and need. It can also be described as the maximal consideration of customers with consciousness to healthcare organizations' profit and losses while incorporating quality systems.
It should also be emphasized that Total Quality Management (TQM) in healthcare deals with continuous quality improvement in both managerial relationships with employees and customers. The factors to enhance this include empowering physicians to improve the quality process of clinical operations; establishing quality adoption which is primarily determined by customer preferences; enhancing conventional departmental growth through innovative and dynamic approaches to operations; and providing motivation for processes of analyzing data.
The concept of TQM in healthcare is emphasized in providing support for perpetual managerial and quality improvement; concentration on improving work; revising strategies enhanced for personnel management and creating a medium of constructive dialogue between physicians, managers, employees, and customers.
The culture underlying patient care is dialogue. Managers and physicians must consider patient satisfaction or complaint before, during, and after their time of operation and care as very important to their profession.
Hospitals should further emphasize organizational identity, network cooperation, relationship and networking behavior, innovative policy adoption, and behavior of organizational citizens. These will ensure that although the healthcare institutions have a serious setback in operation due to adherence to the conventional and manual system, applying TQM to their organizational structure would enhance implementation of active quality programs and structures, it will also enhance quality means of storing data, improvement of the management system, customer relationship, etc.
It is important to recognize that some healthcare institutions haven't acknowledged the role of TQM. Thus, TQM remains a positive character every sector should embrace as it assists the accountability of such organizations.
Healthcare accountability in TQM ensures the quality responsibility of both physicians and managers in their role and activity in a healthcare institution.
TQM also eases problems through a rise in patient satisfaction, modification of the organizational process, provision of quality healthcare services than other competitors in the field and consciously preventing administrative and clinical problems.
Concerning improving standards, TQM helps in employee participation. Emphasis on customer preferences, teamwork, prevention of potential error or threat, good leadership strategy, and continuous quality improvement enhance growth. The philosophy of TQM is entrenched in the consideration of customers, employees, physicians, and managers' input in the development of healthcare institutions.
It should also be noted that quality in operation should be across the basis of the system; which applies to the primacy of protecting customer's privacy, communication with customers, exhibiting empathy and responsiveness towards customers.
While treating a case, critical or otherwise, physicians and management should share information, exhibit acceptability, equity, and appropriateness. Patients should also be cared for depending on the department their conditions belong to. By this, hospital management should ensure professionalism at each department for the efficiency of such healthcare in a competitive environment.
TQM also encourages individual healthcare. By this, patients are treated with quality characteristics that are reliable and efficient at alleviating health challenges.
Other qualities that are critical to consider in healthcare institutions include quality in technical care, environment, and care. Summarily, there are important points that enhance the applicability of TQM in healthcare, they are:
Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)
Drawing from the Japanese philosophy of “kaizen”, Continuous Quality Development emphasizes perpetual research to improve the process and the system of operation of an institution. This is tied to the belief that perpetual improvement can enhance the quality of any process rather than a complete overhaul and restructuring of such an organization.
In healthcare institutions, continuous quality development involves simplifying a process through computer application in saving of data and automation. It should be noted that many hospitals still make do with saving complex and simple data analysis through the conventional traditions of pen and paper. In a sophisticated world of technology, manual data-keeping means make the workload heavier for employees. Patients also experience a delay while waiting-in-queue for their turn.
Therefore, clinics must make use of the philosophy of total quality management to enhance quality operations and services.
Every organization relies on customer service, relationships, and traffic. In TQM, managers must create a customer-focused system and direct their employees rightly while adhering to the nature of medical quality. While establishing operation policies, patients, and customer consideration before implementation makes them feel included in the terms of service of the organization and their contribution to the institutional operation becomes integral to enhancing growth.
The aim is to create ways to work better and improve the medium of operations. Also, to improve service relationships and networks between management and customers.
This means the quality inclusion of employees. When employees are involved in the affairs of any organization, the goals and purposes of service are incorporated and teamwork becomes a prerequisite to growth. By this, responsibilities can be delegated without grudges and contributors will provide adequate and quality services from services of childbirth, to the prevention of adult disease and care, and eventual death.
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