Hospitals and clinics are increasingly interested in being accredited by international, independent bodies like Temos International. As a basic requirement for engaging in the accreditation process, Temos expects the healthcare provider to have a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) system in place. Elizabeth Ziemba President of Medical Tourism Training Inc and Irving Stackpole, President, Stackpole & Associates Inc give a brief overview of what this means.
Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is a business philosophy. It does not follow the adage of ‘If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’. Instead, CQI team members proactively search for improvements to efficiency and outcomes. The focus is on prevention of business errors before they happen, rather than curing them after they occur.
CQI is also referred to as Total Quality Management, Quality Improvement, Six Sigma, Kaizen and a variety of other labels. At its core, it is a scientific management method designed to identify wrinkles or gaps in business operations and to prevent problems in the delivery of healthcare services.
These are the essential CQI principles:
A commonly recognised or observed ‘problem’ in any process is unwanted variation, in that a variation in process causes a variation in outcome. CQI and all quality management approaches seek to define the limits of variation in processes and, through experimentation, render those processes more reliable - that is, more consistent.
When output is consistent, processes improve.
Improvement should be part of the culture of the organisation and a natural part of how people perform their jobs. Improvement does not only mean success in a particular project; rather, it is an ongoing way of approaching one’s regular duties. Regular interventions also test improvements, as they happen without waiting for a formal evaluation.
There are several essential elements required for successful CQI implementation:
Senior leaders also need to understand the potentially high-level impact of CQI decisions on work processes and staff time, especially when there is a change in practice to allow quality improvement to be incorporated into system wide leadership development.
Leadership needs to make patient safety a key aspect of all meetings and strategies to create a formal process for identifying regular patient safety goals, and to hold themselves accountable for patient safety outcomes.
If you are unsure if your hospital or clinic has any or enough CQI systems in place, a pre-accreditation assessment offered by Temos can provide an accurate picture of your systems and procedures, to determine readiness for accreditation.
The assessment can be on-site and in person or done online by completing an initial application on the Temos website. Recommendations will follow to either proceed with accreditation or a plan can be created to implement or improve an existing CQI system designed to improve systems while setting the foundation for accreditation.
For further support about implementing a CQI system, improving existing CQI processes or to start the accreditation process, contact Medical Tourism Training, Inc.
Temos is a leading worldwide independent accreditation body focused on the quality of international patient management from the medical and non-clinical perspectives. It offers accreditation programs designed for hospitals, clinics, and facilitators who work with international patients. Specialised accreditation programs are available for hospitals, primary and other types of clinics including dental, IVF, physical rehabilitation, and eye care as well as for facilitators.
IMTJ has teamed up with Temos International, for the IMTJ Medical Travel Summit, Berlin, 2-3 December 2019. The Summit will host the 9th Annual Meeting and training session for Temos partners, as well as the exclusive dinner for Temos-accredited partners by invitation only, hosted by the Diplomatic Council (DC) and Temos International.
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