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Improving Healthcare Organizations thru CRM, TQM,& Internet

Four "big ideas" that represent great opportunities to improve the performance of healthcare organizations are Total Quality management, Customer Relationship management, the internet, and virtual teaming. Define the management practice or breakthrough idea. I'm trying to discuss the expected impact on improved patient outcomes, higher levels of customer satisfaction, lower costs, etc., and identify the critical success factors associated with implementing these programs in a health services organization. I have to identify which of these management practices or breakthrough ideas has, in your judgment, the greatest, second greatest, and third greatest potential benefit for healthcare organizations. Clearly explain the rationale of ranking.

- Definition and Discussion of the Management Practice or Breakthrough Idea
- Expected Benefits for a Healthcare Services Organization
- Implementation Challenges and Critical Success Factors
- Rationale for the Recommended Ranking

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Total Quality Management

- Definition and Discussion of the Management Practice or Breakthrough Idea:
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a team effort, in which all members of an organization "participate in improving processes, products, services and the culture in which they work" (ASQ, 2012). Deming's 14 points serve as the defining management practices in accomplishing TQM. These points include creating a constancy of purpose for improving products and services. In the case of healthcare organizations this might be setting standards of care in small manageable pieces of the organization like improving customer wait times or in bigger areas like reducing turnaround on insurance paperwork. Once defined, staff adapts the philosophy, and all work toward constant improvement. This may include changing the philosophy on sourcing services from the lowest price to the best supplier (perhaps a single supplier who becomes embedded in an organization). Job training is instituted, as well as greater leadership. Quality is king and defects are not allowed. Staff is encouraged to work together towards the goal, eliminating fear, slogans, and targets, instead focusing on quality and results. Management is not judged by quotas, instead, all staff work together toward pride of a job well done, working toward bettering the customer experience with programs of self-improvement and education for employees. Every person in the company works toward the transformation in Total Quality Management.

- Expected Benefits for a Healthcare Services Organization:
A healthcare organization will benefit from implementing TQM through improvement of quality. With TQM errors are not allowed. Things must be done correctly, the first time. This sets standards for all involved and would surely increase customer satisfaction. In addition, TQM eliminates problem solving time and frustration. As stated earlier, errors are not allowed. Quality is the norm. This leads to continuous improvement of service and products, which improves the reputation of the healthcare organization. It also leads to cost savings and profitability improvement, since time and money are not to be spent on re-work. Ultimately, it is easier for employees to work in an organization that works together and trains employees on the functions of their job. It also is better to be involved with a healthcare organization that focuses on quality - either from the position of a supplier, employee, or customer. All benefit from this philosophy.

- Implementation Challenges and Critical Success Factors:
To be successful, an organization must focus on "ethics, integrity, trust, training, teamwork, leadership, recognition, and communication" (Padhi, 2010). In order to successfully implement TQM, a healthcare organization must establish a code of ethics, and be willing to operate in an atmosphere of honesty and trust. This ensures that employees embarking on the program will have the support necessary to be fully involved in the improvement of the operation without fear of recrimination. This can be difficult to "sell" to employees.
TQM also relies heavily on training, teamwork and leadership. It takes a strong organization to accept these challenges. Supervisors are solely responsible for implementing TQM within their departments. This involves extensive training of supervisors, followed by training of staff. In most healthcare organization time is already at a premium. This might be more time and involvement than an organization can commit without solid assurance of sizable benefits.
Communication is also important. Seemingly this should not be a challenge, however, communication between organization members, suppliers, and customers is vital to success. This can be difficult in ensuring that the correct information is sent in a manner that is received as intended by the correct party.
A critical success factor is ensuring that there is total buy in from all parties involved in the process. This can be improved through recognition. TQM depends upon discipline to ...