Total Quality Management (TQM) and Continuous Quality Improvement

It is important for all organizations to continuously improve their products and services in order for them to remain competitive in the current market. The quality of products and services provided by a particular organization depends on how the organization puts emphasis on Total Quality Improvement (Anderson, 1991). Continuous Quality Improvement in healthcare facilities has become very popular due to the increasing demand of quality healthcare services by clients. The Veterans Affairs Medical Centre is one of the many healthcare facilities that are in the process of adopting modern Continuous Quality Improvement systems (Anderson, 1991). This paper will highlight the Continuous Quality Improvement programs at the Veterans Affairs Medical Centre In comparison with another model healthcare facility that has effectively implemented the Continuous Quality Improvement systems and structures.

The Veterans Affairs Medical Center already has some Continuous Quality Improvement strategies meant to add quality to the services provided by the facility. The hospital introduced long term oxygen therapy that has in a great deal helped chronic pulmonary disease patients to live longer (McLaughlin, 2006). This treatment was introduced in November 1994 by the Continuous Quality Improvement team after an extensive consultation with the patients and other members of staff. The long-term oxygen therapy program has been the only notable continuous Quality Improvement initiatitive aimed at improving the facility’s services. The center has also improved in other areas such as intensive care and multidisciplinary patient care (McLaughlin, 2006). The improvement of services in those areas have led to a decrease in the number of pneumonia infections and as a result helping reduce the hospital’s operational costs.

Despite some efforts being made at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the facility has a long way to go in terms of Continuous Quality Improvement. In order to realize how much service improvements need to be done at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, we will compare it with the Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital which has proved to be a model hospital in Continuous Quality Improvement (McLaughlin, 2006). The Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital is one of the largest and most reliable hospitals in Poland with a bed capacity of 552. The hospital used to face some challenges such long hospital stays and increasing readmissions that often increased the hospital’s operating costs. This triggered the hospital management to come up with multidisciplinary care strategies with the increasing awareness of the hospitalist model (McLaughlin, 2006).

The Management and the quality improvement team at Legacy Good Samaritan hospital have since come with a number of strategies to improve its services and operations. Some of the Continuous Quality Improvement strategies put in place include the establishment of new care protocols, testing strategies before implementation, introduction of automation in the pharmacy department and the introduction of new technologies in conducting hospital operations just to mention a few (Anderson, 1991). These Continuous Improvement Strategies have helped a great deal in improving the efficiency at the hospital and in the process reducing the cost of operations. The changes immediately reduced the days of stay at the hospital, the cost per hospitalization and subsequently reduced cases of dramatic infections such as pneumonia. The Continuous Quality Improvement team at the Legacy Good Samaritan hospital is always working around the clock to come up with ways of improving the quality of services offered at the hospital. That kind of spirit and determination should be emulated by hospitals such the Veterans Affairs Medical Centre for delivery of quality healthcare services to their clients. Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital is an example of hospitals that strictly follow the standards of Continuous Quality Improvement (Anderson, 1991).

The veterans Affair hospital needs to make some major improvements in many of its departments for it to achieve the level of an efficient modern hospital (McLaughlin, 2006). The hospital should introduce automation in its major departments like pharmacy to reduce a lot of paper work. The other way of improving the quality of service delivery is by empowering bedside nurses to carry out some duties that they are capable of doing. The emergency department is another department that needs a lot of improvement in terms of equipment and healthcare personnel (Anderson, 1991). The ambulatory services and other key emergency facilities need to be modern with the introduction of new medical technologies in patient care as a landmark of a viable Continuous Quality Improvement System.

In conclusion, healthcare facilities are supposed to be at the forefront in implementing Continuous Quality Improvement and Total Quality Management strategies because the process of handling the lives of people is very delicate. The VAMC hospital needs to emphasize on the full implementation of Continuous Quality Improvement strategies in most of its departments and observe all the quality standards for it to reach the level required in Total Quality Management.


Anderson, K. B. (1991). Total Quality Management in hospitals: An exploratory study. New York, NY: Penn State Harrisburg.

McLaughlin, C. P. (2006). Continuous Quality Improvement In health care. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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