Hospitals must pay attention to quality as they continue to provide healthcare services to patients. According to McClellan and Staiger (2000), hospitals that offer quality care often provide effective health care services in a safe, timely, and convenient manner. There are two main ways through which hospitals measure quality and these are related to treatments and procedures as well as patient outcomes. As McClellan and Staiger (2000) points out, a hospital can measure quality by assessing whether the right treatments and procedures are used to attend to all patients. When using treatments and procedures to measure quality, hospitals focus on valid and reliable measures and compare them with data from national health organizations and government institutions. For instance, as a way of measuring quality, a hospital might find out the percentage of heart attack patients who were given asprin on arrival at the hospital (McClellan and Staiger, 2000).
Additionally, a hospital can measure quality by the nature of patient outcomes that arise from treatments and procedures administered to patients. One major limitation of using outcomes as a way of measuring quality is the fact that patient outcomes are always difficult to measure and statistically analyze due to variations in the types of patients. For example, a 6-year-old patient suffering from pneumonia does not have similar survival chances as a 65-year-old patient suffering from heart failure. Therefore, when predicting outcomes, hospitals are advised to use statistical methods developed by leading independent agencies to adjust for severity of patient illness. Example of an outcome measure is the percentage of patients suffering from heart attack that survive to discharge from a hospital (McClellan and Staiger, 2000).
Like any other hospital, Memorial Hospital must be ready to incur costs that are associated with quality. The potential costs of quality for Memorial Hospital include routine service costs and environmental costs. Routine costs represent services that Memorial Hospital requires to conduct all inpatient operations. These include bed settings and nursing services. Every admission requires a bed space as well as nursing services that will relieve a patient of pain and suffering. This explains why bed settings and nursing services provides a great insight into the efficiency and operating characteristics of a hospital (Shoemaker, 2012).
Memorial Hospital will also incur environmental costs as part of its efforts towards maximizing quality. According to Shoemaker (2012) thirty percent of a hospital’s level of quality is measured based on patient satisfaction. Whether a patient is satisfied or not will depend on his or her experience at the hospital. Therefore, Memorial Hospital must be prepared to purchase quality equipment for all departments and hire experienced nurses who will handle patients with respect and humility and ensure that patient outcomes are improved (Shoemaker, 2012). Although quality will attract high costs for Memorial hospital, the health care organization must give value to human life by meeting both routine costs and environmental costs.
In order to help Memorial Hospital focus on providing quality health care, Janice should use a number of ideas or techniques from Total Quality Management. Janice should analyze all systems in the hospital for variations and errors before identifying the correct action measures. Moreover, Janice should guide Memorial Hospital towards developing long term partnerships with both internal and external suppliers. In addition, it is very important that Janice relies on accurate data to analyze operations and processes in the hospital for effective system improvement (Al-Ali, 2014).
Janice should also involve employees in system analysis and set up collaborative meetings to promote teamwork. Furthermore, Janice should ensure that all supervisors and managers of Memorial Hospital are properly trained in leading the proposed improvement processes. Most importantly, Janice should emphasize the great need of putting in extra effort in system improvement to ensure that Memorial Hospital provides quality health care (Al-Ali, 2014).
After doing the necessary to achieve quality, Memorial Hospital should assess the quality of care it is providing to find out whether the intended goal has been achieved. The four types of measures that Memorial could use to assess the quality of care it is providing include the structure, process, outcome, and patient experience. As far as structure is concerned, Memorial Hospital should assess the characteristics of the care setting such as personnel and facilities as well as the principles applied in health care delivery. For instance, the hospital should examine whether critical care specialists are available at the Intensive Care Unit at all times (Familiesusa, 2014).
In addition, Memorial Hospital should determine whether processes such as services offered to patients are consistent with the nationally agreed standards. For instance, it should find out whether the doctor provides the recommended cancer screenings to his or her patients. Furthermore, Memorial Hospital should evaluate the health of patient based on the type of care received. Moreover, Memorial Hospital should assess patient experience by examining the nature of feedback received from patients (Familiesusa, 2014).
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