Fried M.D., Robert (1991, ASQC) Department of Family Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO
This abstract is an edited version of the author's original.
The Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine realized they would make no progress as a specialty unless they could show that their patients received effective and efficient medical care. They reorganized their Division of Clinical Affairs, putting it on an equal footing with divisions concerned with research and education. The Director of Clinical Affairs received a new title, the Director of Quality Improvement Programs; he attended quality courses taught by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations as well as classes that taught the concepts of Deming, Juran, and Crosby.
To implement the lessons back home, they instituted a weekly meeting of physicians and staff. Eventually, they created a climate of change, innovation, and dedication to quality work. They declared that quality was everybody's business, then added more policies - ranging from confidentiality of medical records to appointment scheduling - as quality problems were identified and analyzed. They used classic industrial QC tools to illuminate their understanding of patient flow and documentation of immunizations in the medical record.
The University of Colorado School of Medicine is beginning to implement AmbuQual, a comprehensive quality monitoring system designed to look at all aspects of the care they deliver, from what the doctor did to whether the telephone call was returned.
AmbuQual,Case study,Education,Health care,Quality control (QC),Total Quality Management (TQM),University of Colorado School of Medicine