However, the hospital’s administrator, Janice Fry, is concerned about whether the hospital can really deliver on its promises, and worries that failure to provide the level of health care patients expect could drive patients away. Janice met recently with the hospital’s managerial personnel to discuss her concerns. The meeting raised some questions about how the hospital’s quality of health care could be assured. Jessica Tu, director of nursing, raised the question, “How do we measure the quality of health care? Do we give patients a questionnaire when they leave, asking if they were happy here? That does not seem to answer the question because we could make a patient happy, but give them lousy health care.” Several other questions were asked concerning the hospital’s efforts to keep costs down. Some people were concerned that an emphasis on costs would be detrimental to quality. They argued that when a person’s life is at stake, costs should not be of concern.
After the meeting, Janice began thinking about these questions. She remembered reading recently that some companies were using total quality management (TQM) to improve their quality. She liked the idea—if it could be used in a hospital.
Discuss some ways that a hospital might measure quality.
What are the potential costs of quality for Memorial Hospital? How could the value of a human life be included?
Are there any ideas or techniques from TQM that Janice could use to help Memorial focus on providing quality health care?
What measures could Memorial use to assess the quality of health care it is providing?