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The University of Cincinnati Ambulatory Care Services management team came up with a quality assurance (QA) orientation manual as well as ways of implementing a QA program. This manual was concluded in December 1990, and it is in this period that JCAHO started moving towards the idea of continuous quality improvement (CQI), which was portrayed in the Accreditation Manual for Hospitals in 1992. Despite establishing “thresholds” as part of the QA orientation manual, “goals” are also suitable to the CQI process. Along with QA, thresholds are determined, and exceptions to the thresholds are reported. As a result, QA becomes a report of exceptions to the established thresholds. Similarly, CQI goals are recognized and measurements of reliability improvement to achieving these goals are reported. Thus, the goals turn out to be identical to the acknowledged standards of care.
Health care organizations have come up with a way of integrating CQI in their organization. Their main objective is to promote community-wide perfection in health by controlling health care expenditures. Control of health care expenditures has become a problem in many countries both developed and developing (Chute, 2002). All of them try to maximize the quality of health care delivered to reduce cost. There is no particular health care administration that has met this challenge As a result mechanisms of regulation keep on changing and patients do not understand the logic associated with this policy. For patients to have confidence in the health care system, patients require health care professionals’ proof of efficiency and assurance of quality (Pratt, 2009).
Implementation of CQI programs in hospitals
The implementation of CQI programs is taken in successive steps; some of these programs may not give good results. Hospital managers are required to accept the failure and see them as part of the implementation process by comparing their situation to that of others. Exchange of experiences is needed for the creation of a good environment for the development of CQI methods (Tomey, 2000).
Consulting firms have a major responsibility in implementing CQI programs. They help in bringing a dynamic for change and conduct training.
Role of management and quality assurance in implementing CQI
For the hospital management to have control in health care expenditures they are supposed to strategize the following:
- Examine the hospital’s mission to be sure of its consistency with CQI
- Select the customers that the organization is willing to serve, and discover their needs
- Come up with a vision that shows what the organization is like and contrast it with the current version
- Decide what type of training will be given to employees.
- Decide on the project that you want to develop and how you will direct your team
The following are components of CQI that will assist the management to achieve its goals in expenditure control
Customer satisfaction: The background of CQI emphasizes the importance of customers who can be in or out of the system. It can be a patient, a colleague, or someone from another department. In several books, the need of a customer is usually emphasized. For example,” Quality is achieved when the needs and expectations of the customer are met” (Baille, Damin, Lyn & Dowden, 2007).
Scientific approach and Team approach which tries to expound on the fact that working as a team is much better than on an individualistic level.
Baille, D. & Dowden, L. (2007). Indigenous health: effective and sustainable health services through continuous quality improvement. Australia, Wiley John & sons.
Chute, C. (2002). A paradigm shift in health care information systems: clinical infrastructures for the 21st century.Michigan, Hanley & Belfus.
Johnson A. (2009). Health organizations: theory, behavior, and development. New York, Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Pratt, J. (2009). Long-Term Care: Managing Across the Continuum. New York, Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Revere, L. Black, K. & Ahsan. H. (2004). Integrating Six Sigma and CQI for improving patient care. Bradford, Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Tomey, A. (2000). Guide to nursing management and leadership. Michigan, Mosby Year Book.