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Int J Qual Health Care. 2003 Feb;15(1):47-55.

Evaluating implementation of quality management systems in a teaching hospital's clinical departments.

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1
Unité de Qualitique et Evaluation Médicales, CHU de Grenoble, Université Pierre Mendès-France, Grenoble, France. pfrancois@chu-grenoble.fr

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study evaluated a strategy for implementing continuous quality improvement based on a decentralized quality management system in the clinical departments of a hospital.

SETTING:

The institution is a 2000-bed teaching hospital of tertiary health care employing 8000 people.

METHODS:

The quality management intervention was tested in six volunteer departments. This intervention comprised an instructional seminar, methodological assistance, and the dissemination of guidelines. The program was evaluated 1 year after the intervention and included a quality audit, interviews with department staff, and analysis of the written documents produced by the departments.

RESULTS:

The quality management systems are functioning in all the departments. Quality teams meet regularly and multidisciplinary work groups are in place. The topics most often addressed are patient reception and communication between department staff members. The level of compliance with the guidelines has increased, from 39% before the seminar to 54% 1 year later (P < 0.05). All of the staff members interviewed judged the process useful for them and for the department, while waiting for the concrete results. Among the difficulties the staff members encountered were changing their work habits, lack of time, and the tedious aspect of writing procedures.

CONCLUSION:

Implementing continuous quality improvement in hospital departments seems to be an interesting alternative to organization-wide implementation strategies. However, these results need to be confirmed by long-term evaluations and by deploying the program i n other departments.

PMID:
12630800
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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