Quality management refers to the organizational-wide approach that firms in different economic sectors integrate in an effort to understand the customers’ needs. As a result, a firm is able to offer products and services that meet the customers’ needs. For an organization to effectively implement the concept of quality management, it is critical for employees within the production department to develop a comprehensive understanding of the customers’ needs and desires. Quality management mainly entails the integration of data-related techniques in order to effectively understand the customer’s needs (Ransom, Joshi, Nash & Ransom, 2008, p. 356).
Quality improvement refers to an approach that is used by management teams of various organizations to enhance and maintain the quality of products and services it offers. To be effective in their quality improvement, organizations are required to conduct regular internal assessments in order to identify probable causes of quality defects. Upon identification of a possible cause of the defect, the necessary action is undertaken in order to avoid or eliminate the quality defect. Alternatively, quality improvement can be defined to include the process component of quality. This means that organizations incorporate different tools which include statistical analysis and methodological problem-solving techniques in an effort to improve the quality of their products and services. Therefore, quality improvement is concerned with innovation and care. Within the healthcare industry, quality improvement would entail improving the various processes that are aimed at providing the patients the best care (Ransom et al, 2008, p. 418). In summary, one can assert that quality improvement is a subset of quality management.
The key QI measurement tools use to measure quality outcomes such as a reduction in patient falls
Patient falls within health care organizations can be fatal since it can result into injuries. To improve the quality of their health care by reducing the number of patient falls, health care organizations can integrate different quality improvement measurement tools. For example, the organizations can use statistical analysis. This can be achieved by determining the fall rate. Ransom et al (2008, p. 315) asserts that fall rate is calculated by multiplying the number of falls by 1000 and dividing the result with the number of patients’ days. By establishing the fall rate, health care organizations such as hospitals can be able to implement strategies aimed at reducing the fall rate. This means that determining fall rate can be an important tool toward attaining effective quality improvement. However, the fall rate should be determined continuously in order to make the necessary quality improvements.
On the other hand, to measure medication errors and complication rates, healthcare organizations can also integrate the cause-and-effect diagram. This entails identification of the various possible factors that may have contributed towards the emergence of a specific problem. Oleske (2001, p.172) asserts that to be effective in utilizing the cause-and-effect diagram in quality improvement, an organization is required to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the possible causes of the problem. The major factors that are associated with the problem are identified and analyzed. For example, with regard to health care problems such as medication errors and complication rates, the cause of the problem may either be ineffective procedures, personnel, the equipments used or the environment. Upon identification of the source of the problem, the necessary quality improvement action should be taken.
Oleske, D. (2001). Epidemiology and the delivery of healthcare services: Methods and applications. New York: Kluwer Academic.
Ransom, E.R., Joshi, M.S., Nash, D.B., & Ransom, S.B. (2008). The healthcare quality book: Vision, strategy, and tools. Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.