Many hospitals use a wide range of frameworks to implement new changes that can result in improved patient care. One of these frameworks is the quality management (QM) policy. This model outlines the unique actions, processes, and activities that can improve the nature of health service delivery (Zander, Dobler, & Busse, 2013). Healthcare institutions associated with sustainable QM policies find it easier to deal with competition, deliver exemplary services, and realize their potentials. This work explores some of the unique issues associated with QM policy in healthcare.
Purpose and Necessity of Quality Management Policy in a Healthcare Organization
The ultimate purpose of having a quality management policy in a hospital is to ensure all workers are guided to deliver exemplary health services (Kramer, Maguire, & Brewer, 2011). The institution uses the policy to empower its workers, acquire the most appropriate resources, and outline new procedures. Such strategies are used to improve health care delivery. The policy guides institutions to embrace the best practices and initiatives that can ensure sustainable services are available to more individuals. Healthcare organizations embracing the use of such policies find it easier to support the diverse needs of their clients (Curtis, Vries, & Sheerin, 2011). Consequently, the facilities realize their objectives much faster.
Many experts in the health sector believe strongly that quality management is a powerful policy in every hospital.
This happens to be the case because the policy supports the welfare of many healthcare providers. Such practitioners are equipped with new skills and resources in an attempt to support their clients’ needs. The policy is known to support the concept of continuous improvement. Healthcare institutions should therefore embrace the use of the QM policy to implement new processes and models that can address the needs of their patients (Heitmann, Cisic, & Meyenburg-Altwarg, 2013). The policy is embraced by many health managers (HMs) because of its ability to deliver exemplary services to more patients with diverse needs.
Definition of Quality of Care by Different Stakeholders
Several stakeholders are involved in the healthcare delivery network. The first group includes the targeted patients. These are the recipients of care and their needs must be taken seriously. The ultimate goal of every QM policy is to satisfy the needs of these stakeholders.
Many patients argue strongly that quality care should be culturally-competent, evidence-based, and timely (Kelly, McHugh, & Aiken, 2011). Medical professionals such as nurses, caregivers, and physicians form the second category of stakeholders.
These professionals define quality as the availability of exemplary services to the targeted clients. The professionals must use their competencies to provide superior services to their respective clients.
Government agencies and payers are critical stakeholders in healthcare. Such players focus on the nature, quality, and efficiency of care available to different members of the community (Dolansky & Moore, 2013). I
In order to ensure these people receive exemplary care, these agencies offer support and insurance cover to cater for the needs of the targeted patients. Communities should also be considered whenever planning to improve the quality of health care. Such communities believe that quality care should be affordable and available (Kramer et al., 2011). Healthcare institutions should be aware of the definitions presented by these stakeholders in an attempt to develop appropriate care delivery models.
Health Care and Manufacturing Quality: Similarities
There are various similarities between quality in manufacturing and healthcare sectors. These two fields “treat quality as the ability to offer exemplary services or finished products to the end-users” (Kelly et al., 2011, p. 429). In healthcare settings, medical professionals must use their resources and competencies to ensure quality services are available to the targeted members of the community or clients.
Similarly, manufacturing firms must embrace the best approaches to produce superior products that can fulfill the changing demands of the targeted customers (Dolansky & Moore, 2013). The second similarly arises from the implementation processes used to deliver quality care. Different stakeholders are involved in these sectors to promote the best practices that can deliver positive results. Adequate resources and materials must be acquired to support the process.
The concept of waste reduction is embraced in these two sectors. In manufacturing industries, companies use evidence-based information to identify the causes of poor performance and wastes. The next step is to address such gaps and implement new processes that can produce superior products. In healthcare, causes of wastes are “identified in an attempt to improve the process of care delivery” (Kelly et al., 2011, p. 431).
These similar approaches are embraced in an attempt to add value to the targeted consumers or patients. The next thing to consider is the importance of continuous improvement (Kramer et al., 2011). In the two sectors, quality is something that must be improved each and every day. In order to achieve this goal, new measures are undertaken to minimize wastes and promote time utilization. Appropriate resources and human capital are considered throughout the process. These similarities explain why the healthcare sector borrows numerous ideas from the manufacturing industry in order to develop superior models of care.
Roles of Nurse Administrators (NAs)
As indicated earlier, quality management (QM) must be an ongoing process aimed at supporting the changing needs of more potential clients. NAs should therefore use their skills to ensure quality is taken seriously in each and every department. These professionals should begin by analyzing the quality of medical services available to every client (Lee, Crouse, & Gipson, 2016). This analysis can be used to identify the unique gaps and weaknesses affecting the institution. The NAs must then come up with better strategies to improve the quality of patient care. This discussion shows clearly that NAs should always focus on their patients’ needs.
The second area is that of management or leadership. If the targeted organization is to achieve its potentials, there is need to empower and guide different workers (Bravo, Cochran, & Barrett, 2016). The NA must focus on this area in order to ensure quality medical services are available to more patients.
Accrediting and Regulatory Organizations and their Roles
Competent NAs will examine the effectiveness of each healthcare model. Such models should also be improved continuously. Departments should be allowed to collaborate throughout the health delivery process. The NA will be required to liaise with different departments in order to maximize the quality of care. The departments include “finance, pharmacy, information technology, and security” (Kramer et al., 2011, p. 14). The research and development (R&D) is another field that must be monitored. This practice will make it easier for the institution to identity and implement new practices that can maximize the quality of nursing care. Such measures will play a positive role towards making every medical facility a leading provider of admirable services.
Several agencies monitor and regulate the performance of different organizations. Some of these agencies focus on the issue of quality management in healthcare. One of these agencies is called ISO 9000. This family offers powerful incentives and standards that can be used to manage quality in medical practice. The agency approves and certifies specific institutions in order to continue providing quality medical care to their patients (Bravo et al., 2016). The second organization is the Joint Commission. This agency focuses on the best practices in healthcare. Institutions that offer exemplary services are accredited by the agency.
The government uses different frameworks to ensure more healthcare facilities offer improved services to their patients. The other agency is the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC). This center is known because of the famous Magnet Status award (Zander et al., 2013). The award is given to hospitals that offer exemplary nursing services. These agencies play a number of critical roles. The first one is ensuring that medical institutions fulfill specific standards in an attempt to deliver adequate care to more patients. The organizations suggest new initiatives that can be used to improve the quality of care (Lee et al., 2016). It is also notable that the agencies accredit specific hospitals because of their achievements and positive approaches to healthcare delivery.
Quality Improvement (QI) is a powerful concept that can make a huge difference in the healthcare sector. Healthcare institutions should embrace the idea to improve their healthcare delivery models. NAs must use their competencies to implement new processes, address wastes, and develop sustainable care delivery models (Heitmann et al., 2013). Medical facilities can also collaborate with different accrediting agencies in order to improve their care delivery models. By so doing, such hospitals will support the diverse needs of many people in their respective communities.
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