General HealthPolicy

Necessity for Quality Management in Hospitals

Management refers to the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Quality on the other hand does not develop on its own. For quality to be achieved, a set of standards and systems must be developed and should be followed up with a systematic evaluation and implementation of improvements required. 

Quality in Healthcare is with reference to the hospitals and healthcare service establishments. It involves complying to the standards and delivering the services in a congenial environment keeping the patient/recipient satisfaction in mind. 

MedPiper Technologies and JournoMed had conducted a webinar on October 22nd, 2021 where the speaker, Mr. Fareed Uddin Syed extensively discussed the various aspects of Quality Management in Hospitals. Mr. Fareed Uddin is a Certified External Assessor for National Quality Assurance Standards (NQAS) in Public Hospitals and National Trainer on Biomedical Waste Management with Bureau of Indian Standards. He is also a Senior Advisor for Quality Assurance and Improvement, Quality Heath Consultants (QHC), Expert in Hospital Planning and Biomedical Waste Management at NRMC, India. 

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There are six dimensions in healthcare that require constant improvement are as follows: 

  1. Safety: Patient Safety should be the primary focus of all kinds of operations in that occurs in a hospital
  2. Effectiveness: The kind of care provided has to benefit the patient who needs it. Overuse, Underuse and Misuse are to be avoided. 
  3. Patient Centeredness: Patient needs should be prioritised and all the medical decisions that need to be made should be based on the patient’s wishes. The care provided should be respectful and responsive to the patient’s demands. 
  4. Timeliness: Timely care should be provided as an when the patient needs it
  5. Efficiency: Wastage of equipment, supplies and energy should be avoided. 
  6. Equity: Best possible care should be provided to every patient, regardless of age, sex, race, financial status, or any other demographic variable without any bias or prejudice. 

Mr. Syed explained about the necessity of Quality Circles (a small group of employees involved in all parts of the hospital that get together to solve work-related problems) to help with the components of Quality Management which include: 

  1. Quality Planning: Defining the scope of work at Primary, Secondary and Tertiary levels. 
  2. Quality Assurance: Measuring the compliance against certain necessary standards
  3. Quality Control: Keeping the processes working properly
  4. Quality Improvement: Learning, optimising, refining and adapting to ensure continuous improvement. 

Why do we need Quality Management in Healthcare? The ever-increasing demands of healthcare consumers is a great concern in the global healthcare sector. Hospitals and Healthcare providers can be sustainable and successful only by providing high-quality, advanced treatment options at affordable rates. Quality Management in Healthcare should pay special attention to key areas such as 

  1. Process Improvement: Ensuring quality and safety in healthcare to improve patient experience and satisfaction. 
  2. Affordable Cost: Ensuring that the affordability does not compromise the quality of care. This will directly impact patient satisfaction and thus the business as well. 
  3. Throughput time: the quality will be rendered meaningless if there is imperfect and improper time management of therapeutic functions. 
  4. Productivity and Performance Improvement: Managing these two critical areas of the workforce will influence the outcomes of the healthcare services. Monitoring should be done by defining and setting standards. 

Quality Management could be attained by streamlining the process and workflows, educating, monitoring and implementing quality improvement programs. Additionally, applying statistical quality management solutions based on quantitative data may result in increased patient and physician satisfaction considerably

To ensure Total Quality Management, defined SOPs for all systems should be established and be updated constantly, in order to improve hospital outputs. Each component and department of the hospital or establishment needs to be assessed and improved on as and when needed. Raw quantitative data can give an idea about an individual’s performance in a hospital and also on how the resources are being utilised. This data can be analysed and tracked and thus help to enhance accountability of the workforce and efficient use of resources. The authorities should also keep a record of all the medical and clinical errors and adverse drug events. These records can be referred to to avoid future mistakes and thus help to improve outcomes. 

“Quality Assurance is a never ending process” states Mr. Syed. He explains the various facets contributing to quality assurance which are: customer focus, leadership, people involvement, process approach, systematic approach to management, continual improvement and evidence-based decision making. Quality assurance is necessary to align care to the expectations of the patient. 

Health Administrators are trying to find solutions to reduce the financial burden on the health seekers. Many hospitals apply various quality  management methods in order to cope up with the situation. These methods state the efficiency of certain processes and which are more of an obstruction rather than being useful to the hospital. These processes can be eliminated and allow for the efficient and effective flow of services in a hospital. It will also increase the staff efficiency and the concomitant positive result in patient satisfaction will give a boost to the image of the hospital and so to the business.

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