This particular training course deals with the basics of practical use of quality management in reference to healthcare entity. Participants will learn how to use individual quality tools to achieve higher standards in offered services and support patients requirements. Clinical process management, risk evaluation and assessment and appropriate use of resources are clarified and explained as simple solutions within our training.
ISO in health care
Managing of medical services is a difficult and complicated process. It can’t be compared to a production process that is reproducible and can be stopped at every stage of production. Medical services are a unique process, adapted to the needs of the patient, the structure of the medical unit and its capabilities. In medical processes occur common elements that repeat themselves. The main difference is that in the production process the goal is to produce a product for which the customer will be willing to pay and the purpose of the process of medical service is to save live or to improve the health of a patient who is a consumer of a medical service. In order for a institute to function effectively, it must efficiently manage and utilize its assets, resources and capabilities. As Penc writes “The prosperity and future of every nation depend on the skill of management, i.e. the proper setting of goals and tasks and the identification and use of national resources (..)” [Penc 2011]. Patients are more aware than ever about the quality of offered services, pay attention to the appearance and technical background of the therapeutic entity and quality assists in the effectiveness of therapeutic activities. Sometimes the quality indicates the patient’s unconscious needs, it is the so-called “over quality” (When the quality is higher than expected by patient). According to the American Institute of Medicine the quality of health care is the scope of which medical benefits given to individuals and the population allow for an increase in the probability of having a positive health effect and are adequate to actual medical knowledge [Bukowska-Piestrzyńska 2011]. The quality of medical services, which are ones of the indicators of management of institution are affected by several aspects and according to R. Maxwell these are availability, productivity, economic and social acceptance of services and proportionality of services in relation to needs [Dykowska 2012]. System of quality management is a kind of subsystem of management of the entire organization, because the quality factor is where the service is produced and where the recipient which is customer who is willing to use it and even pay for it.
Determinants that affect the perceptible quality of service by the patient are:
- Availability of medical services (Availability of medical service in a particular locality with minimum waiting time)
- Communication between patient and medical staff (Information, knowledge and feedback sharing)
- Competence of the medical staff (Experience and willingness to work)
- Credibility of the medical institution (Obtained certificates, contract with National Health Fund, short waiting times)
- Reliable performance of the medical institution (Minimal number of undesirable events)
- Safety (Patient care)
- Tangibility / materiality of services
- Understanding of customer needs [Berry, Parasuraman i Zeithaml 1985]
It is important not only to have a certain system but also to maintain it effectively and to efficiently detect inconsistencies, correct them, train staff, create standards, procedures and continuous development. Working in a quality management system that complies with ISO 9001 is a process work. A medical institution may have its own process map that contain main, secondary and auxiliary processes, those recommended outsourced and those that can be done without outsourcing services. The quality management system is used in many Polish medical institutions, both private and public – after years of stagnation in this area, today also public institutions have understood that one of the important elements not only of competitiveness but also of safety is quality. The ISO 9001 standard is also used in clinics, public hospitals and doctors’ offices, which operate on a contract with the National Health Fund. Current legal assumptions are preparing to increase motivation to implement and maintain a quality management system by including this in valuation of contracts with payer as well as the impact on the amount of contribution to the civil liability insurance for medical institutions. The pro-quality strategy is not intended to be a one-time quality assurance but a long-term improvement.
Top management must fulfill many tasks to effectively implement a quality philosophy (in practice and theory) to a medical institution:
- Managers should identify the hospital activity with an company capable of smooth transformation
- It is necessary to design the processes starting from the customer input to the institution to consume the medical service so that they aren’t disturbed
- It is important to pay attention to the relationships between the employees and the company’s units and base them on respect and pro-quality philosophy
- It is important to ensure that people who are directly involved in the process understand it’s philosophy and work according to it
By implementing system quality management, it is necessary to clarify several aspects that are necessary for its understanding by employees. Firstly, it is a quality policy, which is the most important element of a quality management system, it’s a medical institution strategy which relates to the improvement of the quality management system. It contains statements of management about the performed actions, procedures, objectives and also define the philosophy and direction of the organization.
Through the use of system of quality management, the organization has many opportunities for continuous improvement, development and to save money. Thanks to the use of the system of quality management, the institution has the opportunity to cooperate with other institutions, also foreign ones and equipment, medicines and services suppliers. It is also a opportunity to cooperation with the best doctors – specialists in their field, use of new technologies and modern equipment.
- Penc J., 2011, Systematic management in organization, New tasks, functions and game rules, 2007, Wydawnictwo Wyższej szkoły policji, Szczytno
- Bukowska-Piestrzyńska A., 2011, Marketing of healthcare services,wydanie IV, wydawnictwo fachowe CeDeWu, Warszawa
- Dykowska G., 2012, Quality of medical services, basic information, Akademia Medyczna, Warszawa, http://www.zdrowiepubliczne.info/pliki/materialy/semestr%202/zarz%B9dzanie%20jako%9Cci%B9/1%20zaj%EAcia.PPT
- Berry L., Parasuraman A.,Zeithaml V.,1985,A Conceptual Model of Service Quality and Its Implications for Future Research, Journal of Marketing, Vol.49, s.41-40