ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

February 1999

Doctoring The Health Care Industry

A Toast To The Future

Business, The Final Frontier

Formula For Success: Balance Technology And People

Y2K Calling

by Peter Block

Have You Hugged Your Goalie Today?
by Bryan McGraw

Brief Cases
Business News Briefs

Views for a Change

The Quality Tool I Never Use

Sites Unseen

Book Review


Doctoring The Health Care Industry
Integrated Health Care System Seeks High Quality, Low Costs

Health care is one industry in need of some treatment. Health care officials must constantly seek balance between administrative needs and patient needs. While patients demand the highest quality of service, decisions to purchase group plans are highly influenced by cost. The resulting goal for the health care industry today—to provide the highest quality of service at a competitive price.

Intermountain Health Care (IHC), salt Lake City, Utah, is one organization actively shaping itself to meet this goal. With facilities located throughout Utah and parts of Idaho and Wyoming, IHC is a charitable, nonprofit, health care organization where doctors, hospitals and health plans work together to provide affordable, high quality care. By combining all of the operations associated with health care into one organization IHC can more effectively control processes and procedures that cross departments and functions.

IHC has invested in developing superior quality and customer service throughout all of its facilities. Quality improvement teams have helped IHC achieve breakthroughs in clinical outcomes—lower admission rates, decreased stays, lower mortality rates and lower costs. IHC actively benchmarks best practices and also trains employees, managers and physicians in leadership and quality improvement techniques.

Gregory Spencer has been a key figure in the change efforts at IHC. As the assistant vice president of individual and organizational development, he is helping to shape IHC into one of the top integrated health care systems in the country. He has taught at five universities and is the author of “Survey Guided Development.” Spencer will also be a special guest speaker at AQP’s 21st Annual Spring Conference and Resource Mart, March 29-31, in Las Vegas, Nev.

Spencer recently spoke with News for a Change Editor Bill Brewer about the challenges of integrating all areas of the organization, team building, aligning individual and organizational goals, servicing customers and service quality.

February '99 News for a Change | Email Editor
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