Hospital Quality Improvement (West Florida Regional Medical Center)

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Introduction

West Florida Regional Medical center (WFRMC) is located on the north side of Pensacola, Florida. It is associated with Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), and “the West Florida Healthcare campus includes the all private room acute care hospital, the area’s only comprehensive physical rehabilitation hospital, and a mental health facility” (West Florida Hospital, 2010). When looking at the decision to invest heavily into total quality management (TQM), you must look at its history and hospital statistics of the Pensacola area. In 1992, there was intense competition between WFRMC and the other two hospitals within the area, Sacred Heart and Baptist Hospitals (McLaughlin & Kaluzny, 2006). “The 130 doctors practicing at the Medical Center Clinic and its satellite clinics admitted mostly to WFRMC, whereas most of the other doctors in this city of 150,000 practiced at both Scared Heart and Baptists Hospitals” (p.522). At the time it was estimated that 90% to 95% of patients that would be admitted into any of the hospitals would experience discounted prices due to the competition within the area. This discount applied to “mostly Medicare for the elderly, CHAMPUS for military dependents, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida for employed and their dependents” (p.522). Within the area and over the past four years a trend showed success with continuous quality improvement (CQI) with areas that utilized package prices for services required (McLaughlin & Kaluzny, 2006). This provided the basis for TQM, which would provide “ways to analyze and change processes to improve quality” (Banham, 1993). Improving quality in an area of competition is important to maintain stability for a health care facility. In order to maintain quality, WRMC first developed a definition for quality within the facility. This would be centered around the vision established by the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce (PATQC), “helping the Pensacola area develop into a total quality community by promoting productivity and quality in all area organizations, public and private, and by promoting economic development through aiding existing business and attracting new business” (p.523). The key for WRMC would be that of promoting productivity and quality. This would be done initially by identifying a method of a department that would be in charge of the overall plan implementation. On May 25, 1988 the purpose of the Quality Improvement Council was set (McLaughlin & Kaluzny, 2006). This would lead to the breakdown of “several multifunctional teams with their core from those completing the leadership workshop with topics selected by the Quality Improvement Council using surveys, experience, and group techniques” (p.526). Methods of identifying areas of quality improvement are used after the organizational elements were established. This would be done by development and implementing “a suggestion program consistent with HCA quality guidelines, providing quick and easy way to become involved in making suggestions/identifying situations needing improvement, providing quick feedback and recognition; and interfacing with identifying opportunities for Quality Improvement Program (QIP)” (p.527). Basics

Implementing a TQM program provides WFRMC with a chance to improve overall quality of care for patients. In an area in which there is competition among hospitals, it is important to maintain quality care. To follow through with this, WFRMC used self-assessment tools with guidelines and assessment categories (McLaughlin & Kaluzny, 2006). The strengths of such a detailed self-assessment allows for the facility to have an organized system of assessing areas that need improvement. The quality improvement plan also had also been looked at with regarding the charting system. “A team met, assessed, and flow-charted the current charting process of the five departments involved” (p.535). This provided data into the insight to the issues...
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