How Quality Improvement Works

Quality improvement revolves around establishing a culture of quality in production and services. It looks at an organization's practices, processes, and procedures supporting and integrating production output and services and takes steps to improve them. There are things every company needs to do to improve quality. These include holding regular meetings, creating policies around quality improvement goals, holding regular quality improvement workshops, and an overall committed team of workers.

A company begins its quality improvement process by identifying and understanding the ways it can improve its practice. The company will look at its client demographics and assess management for issues, such as poor communication, low morale, and more. Someone within the company will collect and compile this data for analysis since it helps in quality improvement.

It is the data analysis that will help a company understand how the system operates. The company will then communicate its results and quality improvement efforts by being transparent to its staff and clients. Furthermore, the company will include the quality improvement team and clients during its planning and implementation. Quality improvement is an ongoing evaluation because, in itself, quality improvement is an ongoing process.

Quality Improvement Example

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (SHSC) had four strategic goals for its 8th annual Quality Improvement plan. SHSC's three major focuses for 2018/ 2019 included:

  1. Patient Engagement: SHSC created an external website that better supported its patients.
  2. Compassionate Care: SHSC realized this in a variety of ways. One method was to receive feedback from patients by having them take a survey about their visits.
  3. Safety: SHSC aimed to reduce patient and staff infections by using a handwashing hygiene measurement system.

Once the company implemented these strategies, they saw a significant drop in reoccurring errors. Both the patients and the medical staff were happier and more willing to corporate in the services they offered.

Significance Of Quality Improvement

Quality improvement can positively change the outlook of any company or institution. To begin, it makes a stronger impact on the lives of the customers and staff. It helps the company understand the complex issues that might act as impediments to its growth and success. It also helps corporate leaders and managers make impactful changes for client interest and internal safety and wellness standards. Quality improvement can affect the technology or devices workers use as well. Improving the tools of the trade can result in a positive client outcome and faster production.

History of Quality Improvement

Quality improvement has been an ongoing part of business growth and services. Each field or industry has its history of quality improvement. Take, for instance, the healthcare sector.

In 1846, a Hungarian obstetrician named Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis started the habit of handwashing to prevent the spread of diseases and other healthcare-related infections. Afterward, in 1918, the American College of Surgeons established a hospital standardization program that maintains minimum quality standards during surgery.

Dr. Avedis Donabedian in 1966 developed a defining framework for modern healthcare quality. Each of the framework's measures helps determine how equipped a healthcare facility is to offer quality care by assessing the provider's care capacity, treatment processes, and patient outcomes.