New Skills Needed in Medical Leadership


Bisognano, Maureen   (2000, ASQ)  

Quality Progress    Vol. 33    No. 6
QICID: 13921    June 2000    pp. 32-41
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Article Abstract

Three leadership processes can aid improvement efforts in the health care field. These are supporting front-line efforts to reduce defects and improve outcomes, aggregating the effects of quality improvement activities, and integrating quality improvement processes into broader strategies of innovation. Research outlining serious problems of death and disability associated with mistakes made by hospitals in the United States has emphasized the need for exceptional improvement skills. For health care organizations to improve quality and eliminate unnecessary costs they must use measurements systems that can effectively identify and quantify waste. General Motors Corporation has joined with health care organizations to teach traditional categories of waste and the application of the PICOS improvement process. Hospitals using PICOS have improved both management processes and clinical processes. After waste and defects have been identified, and an intolerance of these elements begins to drive improvement plans, strategic improvement initiatives can be used to link various projects throughout an organization for broad-based performance change. While each leadership team will establish its own values, example values include individuals' ability to control and customize their own care to the extent they desire, knowledge based care as a standard, making long-term commitment to the work force a priority, and working to obtain the best outcomes with the least resources. Some action strategies for health care leaders involve a shift from benchmarking to adopting audacious goals, accepting the constant challenge of cost reduction, building quality skills throughout the organization, defining exactly who the customer is, formalizing research and development processes, building lifelong relationships with patients, moving quality initiatives into the organization, and reducing complexity.


Waste,Defects,Quality improvement (QI),Leadership,Health care,Goals,Upper management

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