The Importance Of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)

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CQI is a philosophy that encourages all health care team members to continuously ask: “How are we doing?” and “Can we do it better?”(Edwards, 2008) . More specifically, can we do it more efficiently? Can we be more effective? Can we do it faster? Can we do it in a more timely way? Continuous improvement begins with the culture of improvement for the patient, the practice, and the population in general. Continuous quality improvement is a tool for improving the quality of services provided by organizations. Continuous quality improvement refers to having a systematic approach to collecting and reviewing data or information in order to identify opportunities to improve the operations of an organization with the end result of delivering better…show more content…
The CQI approach is positive as most problems are related to the way things are done(process) and not faulty individual effort. CQI encourages trust, respect, communication, collaboration, responsibility, empowerment, and recognition between employees and management (leaders). CQI vigorously discourages fear and blame. Successful implementation of CQI is an arduous, long-term change in the culture of an organization that requires the financial and emotional commitment of leaders. Leaders may have to learn to share power, educate, be able to admit ignorance, know when to intervene, and learn on the job. Satisfaction of all people (customers) determines quality. Quality is quality of "kind" or that which exceeds customer expectations. Attainment of quality is an ongoing (continuous) process. CQI requires functional teams and utilizes the team approach to critically assess process and to devise solutions to problems and new products. Teams have numerous intangible and tangible tools for function and assessment. The Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle or an alternative methodology is employed in process analysis, problem solving, and implementation of solutions. The ability to trust and thus more completely interact with others (interdependence) is a desirable characteristic to serve as an individual basis for CQI. The foundation for CQI was laid by Dr. Walter Shewart of Bell Telephone Laboratories in the 1920s who conducted research on methods to improve quality and lower costs. He developed the concept of control with regard to variation, and came up with CQI Charts which provide a simple way to determine if the process is in control or not. Today, CQI is used in manufacturing facilities around the world. CQI is rapidly becoming required in Healthcare and other service industries as

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