It is without question that challenges with health care cost, accessibility, and affordability as well as the rise in behavioral health issues in the United States has placed health care quality at the top of the national agenda. With the reduction of geographical and technological barriers, U.S. healthcare has now become subject to cross-comparison with international health care delivery systems in Canada, Switzerland, and Sweden. It leaves the lingering question of, “how good is American healthcare?” Health organizations within the U.S. are now forced to adopt quality consciousness as a culture rather than an occurrence. Therein lies the paradigm shift…
On a macro level, health care quality is defined as, “the right care; for the right patient; at the right time.” Essentially, healthcare quality is the assessment of how health services and products are positively impacting desired health outcomes for the individual as well the overall population. Translating this definition to a culture within a healthcare organization requires shifting the mindset, beliefs, and actions of all its contributing members to become better together.
How do you ensure your organization has committed to the paradigm shift of adopting a quality culture?
- Leadership Commitment/Investment. Organizational leadership must understand and believe in the importance of being quality conscious. They must lead by example and invest in the organization’s development. Positivity and engagement can also go a long way.
- Have the right people on your bus. The people on your team must be knowledgeable, motivated, committed to the vision and “in it to win it” as a team.
- Open & Honest Communication. Highlight your strengths and be vulnerable air your dirty laundry. Be able to say “you don’t know” or “we’ve been doing it this way for years.” Transparency is everything.
- The Donabedian Model – Structure, Process, Outcomes. Focus on the PROCESS. No more pointing the finger or the blame game – blame the process and get to work!
- Data, data, DATA! Access to, and sharing of, quality data is integral to measuring quality. Your data is your tool for accurately measuring outcomes and tracking progress.
- Fail Forward. In the words of Will Smith, “Failure is a massive and healthy part of success. Fail early. Fail often. Fail forward.” Learn from your mistakes and use them as tools to move forward to successful outcomes.
- Having a quality culture is cyclical. After you’ve found what works, repeat the process.