TQM, or Total Quality Management, is a principle that has been developed and integrated into the mainstream of the management field. This is a principle that many management teams and HR departments use to cut down on waste and improve customer experience. In the case of West Florida Regional Medical Center, they decided to invest in establishing the TQM principle for numerous reasons. First, they wanted to cut down on the bad delivery system in place that was not delivering service to the patients at a good pace or at a high quality at local hospitals. Additionally, the records at WFRMC were inaccurate or unnecessary; this waste and disorganization really made it tough for management to stay on top of all of their patients and ensure that they had the record for the person in place. This can cause a lot of problems and actually open the hospital up to legal liability where they can even lose its license due to malpractice. If a patient had an emergency and the hospital had misplaced the record or accidentally deleted it, this would spell trouble for the patient and also the hospital. Management realized this and ultimately decided to make a change. Additionally, the hospital was using obsolete systems that made it tough to keep up with its competition; management wanted to change this and keep the technology of the hospital updated with the current regulatory standards. In the report, it laid out that there was only a single staff member who knew how to best implement this principle. Unfortunately, this was not a good way of implementing this, as the burden was far too much for a single employee to shoulder all of the work. Management realized they needed a complete workplace culture change if they were to succeed in adopting TQM and efficiency.
The hospital implemented a program framed in the TQM methodology and a bit of Six Sigma in order to reflect the strategic impetus. First, the hospital or medical center was improved through a newfound methodology of review and verification. This ultimately allowed for the screening of everything and for less errors to fall through the cracks. While the review may have hindered the efficiency a bit, the center found that the sacrifice of some efficiency in order to prevent mistakes was a good use of the efficiency given up. Additionally, the implementation of the methodology was spread out between employees so that not one would be overburdened with implementing this change; this also changed the company culture into becoming more inclusive and communication based rather than individualistic. This improved the workplace culture and the commitment towards adopting TQM.
The center also built up a system where feedback could be freely given to management so that they could implement the change and take correctional measures if necessary. The medical center also created a top down culture of support and participation. Everyone was bought into the change from local leaders to employees working in regional hospitals. The adoption of the continual quality improvement principle also helped the center move towards becoming more efficient. Moreover, the staff took an iterative approach where they assumed that everything needed constant improvement. This was a much different approach than the older system where everything stayed concrete and the same for a very long time. This ultimately caused the center to become obsolete, but this changed as the company began adopting the principles of TQM and CQI. Both of these principles should be seen as a way to increase efficiency and eliminate waste for essentially every company across multiple industries. Therefore, the West Florida Regional Medical Center was able to successfully implement a system of feedback and take corrective measures.
- Evans, J. R. (2002). Total quality management. INFOR, 40(4), 364.
- Shortell, S. M., Bennett, C. L., & Byck, G. R. (1998). Assessing the impact of continuous quality improvement on clinical practice: what it will take to accelerate progress. The Milbank Quarterly, 76(4), 593-624.