Regarding the article Gains can be achieved using known quality measures, exec says:
In a panel discussion on gains in quality and efficacy at the Healthcare Financial Management Associations Annual National Institute, Gregory Poulson, senior vice president of Intermountain Healthcare, said that improving healthcare quality and eliminating wasteful spending requires that hospitals consistently care for patients using known quality measures. He said, We would be far better off if we consistently did what we already know to be right, rather than seeking improvements though drug development or technology investments.
He is correct, but unless executive leadership is engaged, leads by example, has a clear strategy and objectives with a systematic approach, and ensures engagement at all levels, we cannot succeed in quality transformation in healthcare. As long as we only involve so-called experts to effect change, and do not have the critical participation from every level to establish commitment of everyone to share what they already know to be right, we will not be able to establish quality and process improvement as the new culture of the organization.
There must be clear expectations for improvement and it must force a different type of thinking. Organizations must continually seek and find ways to eliminate waste by streamlining processes, examining errors to prevent recurrence, and find ways to continue to improve. These comments come from a document produced by a number of process engineers and consultants of long-standing in healthcare in collaboration with the Automotive Industry Action Group, which has recently turned its attention to the healthcare industry with the intention of making available its organizational resources in quality management systems and process improvement training to healthcare providers and institutions.
Nevertheless, if we want to become learning organizations, we must learn what we do right so we can identify best practices at the bedside, communicate them to management in real-time, and then, wherever possible, standardize throughout the organization. Of course, if we observe a hazardous condition, a near mishap, or an error with or without a harmful outcome, everyone in the hospital should be encouraged to record the event and communicate their opinions of how it could have been prevented.
Without this knowledge of the healthcare workers, whoever they may be housekeeping, dietary staff, nurses, physicians or administratorswe cannot have institutional learning and continual quality and process improvement. There are automated solutions available today that are helping organizations effectively accomplish these knowledge-building, waste-prevention, cost-saving, and process improvement actions that ultimately result in safe patient care.
Douglas B. DotanPresidentCRG MedicalHouston
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