Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Healthcare Quality Management in Great Britain and Czech Republic

Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Healthcare Quality Management in Great Britain and Czech Republic

Article excerpt


A quality system in healthcare sector can be defined as a set of organizational structures, individual responsibilities, procedures, processes and resources needed to constantly improve the quality of provided medical services, with the ultimate goal to improve health, quality of life and satisfaction of residents. Therefore, quality system involves the entire process of creating procedures, collecting information, setting standards and evaluating outcomes of what is organized in the healthcare sector as healthcare and medical services (ASHRM, 2009). When using the term "quality system", the authors emphasize that it is an internally coherent concept of quality elements that is to help healthcare institutions meet the desired qualitative goals of their mission. It should be a method that provides sufficient confidence that a process or a service will meet the requirements of a comprehensive approach to its quality (Bris et al., 2010).

Nowadays, many analyses and comparisons of methods aiming to develop and improve healthcare quality are conducted (Graban, 2012). Emphasis in such works is put on the statement that effective implementation of quality development plans cannot be achieved unless quality development and efficiency development are pursued together (Kenney, 2008). Efficiency pursuit must therefore be an organic part of quality development and vice versa. Benchmarking could became one of the methods (tools) to increase managing quality of medical services (Keehley et al., 2008).

The paper concentrates on quality improvement procedures, namely, on one its component - patient satisfaction survey. The article presents and compares such surveys in Czech and British hospitals, where in both environments they have been used as integral measures of quality management systems.

1.Trends of quality management in healthcare sector

Quality management systems in healthcare sector can be defined as a summary of organizational structure, particular responsibilities, procedures and resources, needed to continuously improve medical services, and as a target being the health and quality of life improvement and public satisfaction. Thus, quality system includes means of procedures development, data gathering, standards forming and assessment of results reached in organising healthcare and medical services (Heidemann, 2001). "Continuous quality improvement" or "total quality control" are names for a philosophy of management commitment to constant organizational self-evaluation and innovation (James, 1989).

Since the introduction of quality management by healthcare institutions in different countries, many studies were performed, regarding the parts important for successful implementation of such quality management. Most of those studies were about quality systems in hospitals. They are demonstrating that there is not only influence from external environment but mostly incentives of upper management, motivation factors based of institutional culture or their characteristics (Whittaker, 2001).

In order to regulate the quality growth, it is required to know the determinants having an impact on quality growth (Keyte, 2004). The key typical determinants are the following: (1) quality system documentation, (2) staff involvement in quality, (3) continuous system and management monitoring using updated quality standards, (4) human resource management in quality, and (5) quality improvement procedures, which are actually feedback in learning preceding determinants (quality system functions) (Bris, 2005). Referring closer to the determinant no. 5, it includes the following requirements:

* patients satisfaction research,

* use of individual care plans,

* staff satisfaction research,

* internal audit,

* monitoring and resolving complaints and unwanted events,

* research of doctors and institutions opinions,

* staff Interviews regarding their satisfaction in workplace,

* system users needs research,

* managerial information system,

* multidisciplinary internal audit,

* functioning of comities-traumatic, infections, medicinals and others,

* external audit (Ohno, 1988). …

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