Sunday, August 26, 2012

Quality Culture and Feelings

Building a quality culture in an organization involves more than compliance to standards, monitoring and reporting metrics, audits and corrective actions. I agree with ASQ CEO Paul Borawski that feelings are involved as well. This is more evident in organizations that focus on service quality as much as they do on producing quality products (if applicable). As you know that I have been working in a hospital for about 6 months. Hospitals provide patient care and it surely involves feelings, compassion and dedication. It is all about keeping patients comfortable, understanding their needs and show that you care for them while following standards and protocols. This is what patients look for when they seek care from a provider. Besides education level, technical knowledge and experience, hospitals assess the attitude and emotional IQ of candidates while hiring. This is the reason why hiring process may take a while until the right candidate comes along. There is certainly more room for improvement to achieve a strong quality culture in hospitals like everywhere else, but I have definitely witnessed more focus on feelings in a hospital than in manufacturing. I have to admit that it changed me too.. for the better. The more I round on patients, observe their care and talk to the staff members, I learned to focus more on patient experience while working on improvement projects. I ask myself what can I do as an operational & clinical excellence leader to improve patient experience. If every individual asks this question as it relates to the organization they work in and continuously strive for excellence as if it is a natural routine, quality culture will flourish and sustain itself.