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Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Get a Job

by Cote, Murray

Professor encourages students to seek certification....

Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Keeping It Continuous

by Nicholas, Mary

My journey into quality is a story that I’ve told a few hundred times because it’s become a part of my outreach to customers in beginning the relationship-building process. I am the founder of an accreditation organization for the healthcare industry....

Follow the Signs

by Palmer, Brien

Many change models have been proposed, but one stands out: the transtheoretical model, also known as the health behavior change model. The model originates from directly observing how people really did or didn’t change in response to urgent medical needs....

Open Access

One Size Fits All

by Krzykowski, Brett; Hankel, Amanda

There’s a reason why simple tools endure: They work, regardless of the situation. That’s a characteristic shared by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence....

Open Access

Healthy Skepticism

by Grenuk, Julie

It’s important not to underestimate the intense, personal nature of change as each employee in the healthcare industry transitions from the familiar paper-driven world to an entirely electronic one....

A Change in Focus

by Lokas, Karim

It is ironic that the life-sciences industry’s approach to quality management systems has been lagging rather than leading due to a fundamental focus on compliance with regulation versus a holistic process for improving quality....

Expert Answers: October 2010

by QP Staff

Assessing your audit ... control charts and process capability ... keeping lab instruments in check....

Open Access

Jersey Score

by Krzykowski, Brett

For most, it takes years to reach a point at which an organization can expect to be seriously considered for the Baldrige award. But that didn’t deter New Jersey-based healthcare provider AtlantiCare, one of five award recipients for 2009....

Measure for Measure: Well Equipped

by Doty, Stephen; Caldwell, Del

If you're experiencing consistent customer dissatisfaction with your product, it's possible your measurement information may be of such poor quality that it prevents you from making sound decisions related to your product or service....

Open Access

Get the Whole Picture

by Sherman, Peter

Most Americans have experienced our healthcare system directly. For the last three years, I’ve acted as my father’s primary caregiver. In this role, I’ve seen firsthand the shortcomings of our healthcare system in many ways....

Dare to Care

by Godyn, Janusz

Healthcare is the third-largest area in the Standard & Poor’s 500, behind only financial services and IT. Considering the amount of knowledge, labor and materials devoted to the industry, there's no doubt healthcare is a major economic force in society....

In a Perfect World

by Krzykowski, Brett

During an interview with QP, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill speaks about the U.S. healthcare system, the signs of economic calamity everyone ignored, and the U.S. government's resistance to the quality way of thinking....

Open Access

Narrow Healthcare's Quality Chasm

by Denney, William; St. John, Cynthia; Youngblood, Liz

Today's healthcare leaders face the need to effectively manage not only the clinical but also the business side of their operations. This includes demonstrating cost reductions, overall organizational improvement and long-term sustainability....

Open Access

Perspectives: First, Do No Harm

by Cichowicz, Judith A.

Healthcare costs in the United States are increasing at staggering rates. In fact, last year’s employer health insurance premiums increased by 5%, which is two times the rate of inflation....

Quality in the First Person: Beyond Appearances

by O'Connor, Tim

Throughout my 40 years in healthcare, I have always held the belief that quality must be intentional. The only true responsibility of a leader is to create an environment where staff can choose to be successful....

Standards Outlook: Auto Industry Drives to Improve Healthcare

by Reid, R. Dan

The U.S. auto industry has been challenged by its need to compete in a global marketplace while burdened by healthcare expenses for workers and retirees....

Benchmarking in Hospitals: More Than a Scorecard

by Sower, Victor

The term “benchmarking” as mentioned in hospital quality literature is not true benchmarking, but simply a comparison of outcome measures with industry averages. Benchmarking is an improvement process that measures an organization’s performance...

Six Sigma at Cigna

by Daniels, Susan

In 2002, Cigna Corp., a provider of employee healthcare and insurance benefits, launched a grass-root driven quality program based on Six Sigma. Leadership made it clear that the approach would be holistic and would require behavioral changes and a...

3.4 per Million: Six Sigma in Everything We Do?

by Carnell, Mike

I was lucky to work for Motorola in the 1980s and early 1990s - right in the middle of the company's transformation. Motorola was at risk as were many U.S. businesses....

Standards Outlook: Developing the Voluntary Healthcare Standard

by Reid, R. Dan

The new Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) voluntary standard for healthcare delivery is in its second review, with an anticipated launch no later than early 2008. AIAG also is pursuing partners for the publication from the healthcare sector....

Open Access

8 Dimensions of Excellence

by Lawton, Robin

Despite a stated desire to be customer focused, most companies tend to measure process performance more intensely than the outcomes customers experience. The 8 Dimensions of Excellence expand and balance the definition of success, beginning with the...

Quality Pros Break Through the Healthcare Barrier

by Vnuk, Dan

Many quality professionals have been denied access to quality jobs in the healthcare sector because they lack medical backgrounds. One exception is Wisconsin's Marshfield Clinic, which has established a central department dedicated to helping the clinic...

QFD in a Managed Care Organization

by Omachonu, Vincent; Barach, Paul

The application of quality function deployment (QFD) in the healthcare industry has been limited because the healthcare product is intangible and ill defined. Recently, however, a managed care organization used QFD to redesign its member handbook. QFD's...

Opportunities Are Everywhere

by Sayle, Allan J.

As the distinction between quality management and business management fades, an unprecedented confluence of trends and forces offers unique opportunities for quality professionals. Sporadic cost cutting campaigns are being replaced by business...

Open Access

Simplify Baldrige for Healthcare

by Leonard, Denis; Reller, M. Katherine

The growing number of applicants for the Baldrige award in healthcare points to the need for a set of tools to help organizations assess themselves. A healthcare self-assessment matrix and opportunity for improvement worksheets are provided to help...

Open Access

100 Years of Juran

by Phillips-Donaldson, Debbie, Editor

An interview with Joseph M. Juran reveals an inspirational story of his struggle to overcome the challenges of emigration, childhood poverty, and the Great Depression to become one of quality’s leading gurus....

Open Access

FMEA - the Cure for Medical Errors

by Reiling, John G.; Knutzen, Barbara L.; Stoecklein, Mike

St. Joseph’s Community Hospital in West Bend, WI, will close in the next few years to make room for a new hospital. This replacement facility will represent a breakthrough in hospital design. Inspired by the Institute of Medicine report To Err Is Human...

Column: Emerging Sectors: ASQ's Role in Healthcare

by Stoecklein, Mike

In 1992, ASQ's Healthcare Division was formed to encourage research, innovation and the formation of learning partnerships to advance knowledge of healthcare quality....

Open Access

Reduce Human Error

by Rooney, James J.; Vanden Heuvel, Lee N.; Lorenzo, Donald K.

Human error is most often determined to be the cause of events leading to death or serious injury at healthcare facilities. When the responsible person is coached, disciplined, or perhaps even fired, managers and team leaders feel fairly confident...

Meeting Patient Expectations

by Crago, Michael G.

Nearly 100,000 patients die every year in U.S. hospitals due to medical errors, confronting both clinicians and professional healthcare managers with some challenging realities and questions. Could medical error be caused by operational disconnects...

Open Access

Developing a New Kind of Certification

by Hartman, Melissa G.

One of ASQ's newest certification exams, the certified quality improvement associate (CQIA), is a unique example of process management and response to customer needs. While most certifications are geared toward quality practitioners, CQIA...

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