Continuous Improvement of Customer-Centered Health Care

Article

Murdock, Marianne   (1993, ASQC)   University of Virginia Health Sciences Center; Charlottesville, VA

Annual Quality Congress, Boston MA    Vol. 47    No. 0
QICID: 9935    May 1993    pp. 31-37
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Article Abstract

The cardiac services unit of a teaching hospital employed continuous quality improvement (CQI) and a systems thinking paradigm to improve service and patient satisfaction. CQI methods were used in a linear plan/do/check/act model, while a systems thinking technique encouraged a nonlinear view of work in this reengineering effort known as the Model Hospital. Reengineering began with a customer/supplier analysis that challenged assumptions about health care delivery. For example, it was assumed patients met the same caregivers regularly, but evidence showed that a typical patient met between 50 and 70 staff members during a stay in the unit. A survey of patients identified services and activities in which there was room for improvement. An analysis of nurses found that 72% of their time was spent in non-nursing and administrative tasks. Results included the use of multi-skilled workers who took over some of the non- patient responsibilities of nurses. To maintain the improvements, CQI and system thinking teams will monitor new processes, identify new chances for improvement, and document the lessons learned.

Keywords

Continuous improvement (CI),Customer satisfaction (CS),Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle,Systems engineering


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