Total Quality Management (TQM) and Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is defined in the TUI module two background information, which cites (Ovretveit 1995) as; “A comprehensive strategy of organizational and attitude change, for enabling personnel to learn and use quality methods, in order to reduce costs and meet the requirements of patients and other “customers”. Module two, background information also suggests an alternate definition given by U.S. theorists: “TQM/CQI is simultaneously two things: a management philosophy and a management method”. These theorists propose that there are four distinguishing characteristics or functions that make up TQM/CQI: empowering employees, adopting norms, developing approaches, and providing motivation for employees. This paper will discuss how FHP incorporated, a government contracted HMO provider adopted a quality improvement program which implemented different aspects and principles of TQM/CQI and the benefits that emerged as the result of this program.
FHP incorporated established a long-term strategy to which was to create a 100 percent FHP-focused quality process based on upon their quality policy or vision. (1) The policy stated: “We manage the quality and the cost of healthcare provided. We are committed to understanding and meeting the requirements of our members, fellow employees and service partners. We will do our jobs right the first time, every time. Even in the most challenging of circumstances, we will be uncompromising in our delivery of service and healthcare.” (1) Their upper level management established the framework for quality based off of the “four absolutes” developed by Crosby. These four absolutes make up and entire process from definition to measurement which were adopted and modified by FHP Incorporated to suit their needs. (1) Their definition represents a conformance to requirement, system: prevention, performance standard: zero defects, and measurement was based upon the cost of...
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