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Top Health Inf Manage. 1992 Nov;13(2):20-8.

Staff empowerment: a medical record department's preliminary experiences with continuous quality improvement.

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Bellin Hospital, Green Bay, WI.


After observing the results of continuous quality improvement, no one would argue against its value in the workplace. However, learning to apply the concepts requires change on everyone's part, and the challenge lies in effecting this change. Not everyone will want to work in this type of environment and, if the organization is truly committed to continuous quality improvement, those individuals may have to make hard decisions as to whether the organization is the right place for them to work. Certain skills are required for staff empowerment to be successful, and training in these skills is essential. The medical record department staff learned early in this process that, although the group possessed job skills, interaction and team skills were lacking. The Development Dimensions International program helped the managers and staff identify the weaknesses of the group and provided educational tools for improvement. The changes often are so subtle, the group does not realize anything has changed. It was not until recently, when the medical record department staff was requested by administration to identify department quality improvement projects, that the group looked back at where the process started and realized how different things are today from three years ago--now staff members lead team meetings, work-groups are redesigning their job processes, and teams update the rest of the department staff on its progress at department meetings. Everyone expressed a sense of pride and accomplishment that the group had indeed responded to the challenge. The experiences of the medical record department thus far clearly support empowerment of employees.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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