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How can quality management help healthcare companies deal with crisis

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Find out why actions based on quality management can be the great differential for healthcare companies to deal with atypical situations, such as a pandemic.

In the health area, although there may be predictability with contingency plans for epidemics, the atypical scenario of a pandemic forces management in this segment to reevaluate its weaknesses and the way they carry out their management.

Surviving a chaotic scenario without failing to provide the best patient care and with adequate resources, has been the great challenge of this sector. And in times when demands and services go beyond normality, quality management can be the great differential. But what can Quality provide for a healthcare company in this context? We list below the main differentials:

Systematic ideas to protect organizations

Managers are commonly focused on an economic approach, weighing in financial gains and losses. It is not wrong, but combining a systemic view while understanding the situation as a whole provides awareness of the variables that significantly affect the company’s results. In this sense, quality management systems act directly to systematize ideas and identify ways and solutions on how to protect the organization.

In periods with a high flow of service, for example, managers from different shifts can perform different procedures. But how much can this cost the company in times of resource savings? How to efficiently control supplies?

It is essential to systematize and evaluate all these scenarios in advance so that procedures can be applied continuously in a unique way, without increasing costs or possible problems caused by wrong decisions.

Fast reaction to a crisis scenario

Healthcare companies that carry out their work with the support of management tools such as Quality Management Systems based on ISO 9001, can react more quickly to a crisis scenario, even when these occur in an atypical way, as we see today.

This allows companies to know their scenario in depth, gather information, evaluate possibilities and evidence to increase their chances of success. Without a quality culture, decisions can be made using common sense, but with the absence of technical criteria one can harm the final results.

Preparing to work in adverse scenarios

In a short period of time, companies had to migrate to remote work, and not all of them were able to carry out this change in the easiest way.

Those who still concentrated processes and activities in the traditional way, with a large amount of printed documents, controls performed manually, or with information that depended exclusively on local servers, still have serious problems to adapt to the new business conditions.

Quality management with information shared in a cloud system, for example, ends up being an alternative to optimize routines and adapt to scenarios that require sudden change. Eliminates the need to maintain physical structures and manage internal infrastructure. Thus, processes are not stopped and continue to guarantee excellence in customer service.

Innovation in the organization’s culture

In order for all quality actions to have a real effect on an organization, a change in culture is required, which goes far beyond filling a role or dealing with non-compliance.

It is necessary to show that the mission, vision and established values are communicated and understood by employees and that they understand their importance, since the sense of private management is applied collectively.

And why is it necessary to take all this into consideration?

Because involving employees, training them and placing them in the decision-making process provides the opportunity for continuous improvement of processes, which is one of the pillars of quality management.

Employees make better decisions using their expertise in the processes. They are likely to implement and support decisions in which they participate, in addition to being able to identify areas for improvement and take immediate corrective actions.

We need to think about the long term.

The whole context we are experiencing only reinforces a great lesson for all segments: we need to think in the long term.

And why would health care be any different?

This has been a challenge for all countries and there is still a lot to mature. Having a quality management system as an ally brings more maturity to health management, developing a culture that values ​​strategy, sustainability, excellence in service quality and process management, which ensure continuous improvement and increase the possibility of continuity in business.

It is also important to note that tools such as the QMS and others, alone, do not solve the problem, but it can be the driving force your organization needs for assertive directions that improve its management efficiency.

And how is your company coping with this new moment? Share your experience or talk to our experts, if you want to evolve your quality management processes.

Thatiana Sestrem

April 08, 2020

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