Establishing a TQM Culture Within a Military Medical Environment

Article

Yates, Richard A.   (1993, ASQC)   653d Medical Group; Robins AFB, GA

Annual Quality Congress, Boston MA    Vol. 47    No. 0
QICID: 9939    May 1993    pp. 59-63
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Article Abstract

Total Quality Management (TQM) in a military air logistics center hospital overcame several burdens, including the conflict between rank and empowerment as well as unsuccessful experiences with traditional quality assurance (QA) programs. QA programs had been implemented by regulation in the 1980s. But today TQM embraces the idea that military leaders are benevolent dictators who provide direction to allow their staff to accomplish their missions. TQM at this site used the QP4 program to emphasize: people, process, product, and performance. TQM training occurred in teams, each consisting of all members of a section, from supervisors to the newest workers. Section teams initially were slow to offer suggestions until a recommendation to create a single labor and delivery room eliminated unnecessary movement of patients. Then other team recommendations led, for example, to an increase of 221% in patients seen at the dental clinic. Confidence in TQM and continuous quality improvement has replaced fear of the old QA programs. A recognition system has helped this attitude change. A quality council gives a quarterly award for team work and initiative, and there is a Quality Team of the Year award. Future improvement will come from comparing the hospital to other hospitals, both civilian and military, and by employing new TQM tools as they are developed.

Keywords

Case study,Continuous improvement (CI),Department of Defense (DOD),Quality assurance (QA),Total Quality Management (TQM)


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