The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the flaws in patient care delivery in many healthcare organizations. Hospitals scrambled to deal with inadequate supplies of ventilators and personal protective equipment while simultaneously combating the inefficiencies inherent in their existing systems. Outpatient areas struggled to deliver care in an environment that was safe for both workers and patients. The pandemic was a reminder that a focus on comprehensive quality management is vital to the daily work of healthcare providers and those they treat. Applying Quality Management in Healthcare: A Systems Approach examines the real-world tools and techniques necessary for improving systems that affect patient care outcomes. Author Patrice L. Spath explains how to explore and modify interconnected systems to make lasting changes that benefit the entire organization. This updated edition features a new chapter on three organizational characteristics that advance success in quality management: continuous improvement, high reliability, and accountability. Throughout, the book emphasizes the role of leadership in all aspects of quality. Management concepts are supported by real-life examples from different settings to further readers’ understanding. Other new content in this edition includes: strategies for creating an organizational culture that supports ongoing improvement; data measurement techniques for analyzing inpatient and outpatient performance; regulations affecting quality activities in hospitals and other healthcare facilities; and external forces, such as a pandemic, that require a greater focus on systems. Each chapter concludes with challenging exercises that give readers a chance to apply what they have learned. A practice lab at the end of the book offers 11 rigorous assignments for a deeper exploration of the concepts presented. Improving quality management processes is the first step toward providing better healthcare. Everyone—from senior leaders and department managers to supervisors and frontline workers—can benefit from these enhancements, leading to greater job performance and, ultimately, safer patient care.
About the Author
Patrice L. Spath, MA, RHIT, is a health information management professional based in Forest Grove, Oregon. She has broad experience in healthcare quality and patient safety improvement. For more than 35 years, she has presented more than 300 educational programs and authored numerous books and journal articles on these topics. In 2020, she received the Distinguished Member Award from the American Health Information Management Association.