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J Am Coll Dent. 1998 Summer;65(2):6-13.

TQM: the essential concepts.

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Academic Affairs, School of Dentistry, University of the Pacific, San Francisco 94115, USA.


This is an introduction to the major concepts in total quality management, a loose collection of management approaches that focus on continuous improvement of processes, guided by routine data collection and adjustment of the processes. Customer focus and involvement of all members of an organization are also characteristics commonly found in TQM. The seventy-five-year history of the movement is sketched from its beginning in statistical work on quality assurance through the many improvements and redefinitions added by American and Japanese thinkers. Essential concepts covered include: control cycles, focus on the process rather than the defects, the GEAR model, importance of the customer, upstream quality, just-in-time, kaizen, and service quality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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