In the United States, consumers enjoy the right to choose, negotiate, and even complain. It is economy based on consumerism, and the opinions of consumers are very significant. Just like with anything else, when it comes to health care, individuals are in a position to choose form at least couple of providers when they are seeking medical attention. Patients want to have options and to pick the best one in their opinion. This creates competition, and open competitive market. Competition ensures that quality of product and services will keep improving, as competitors fight to gain an edge on each other. In the small town called Germantown, a high-end suburb of Memphis TN, stands a well-known orthopedic clinic which has been serving local residents for many decades. The mission and purpose of Campbell Clinic is to provide unmatched patient care while being known as the leader in teaching and research in the profession of orthopedic surgery (Campbell Clinic Orthopedics, 2002).
Although, the quality of clinics services is excellent, every company strives to continuously improve, and Quality Improvement (QI) is essential component for organization’s longevity. Developing a plan for improvement for already successful clinic might seem to be an easy task, considering that all the plan should do, at the very least, is maintain the same quality of services that already exist. However, the fact that Campbell Clinic is good at what it does puts a burden of responsibility on those in charge of developing a plan. Realizing that clinic has high standards of quality, reputation to consider, as well as consumer’s loyalty. Consumer is the ultimate measurer of quality improvement. In health care especially, leaders of clinics and hospitals are very concerned about patient satisfaction, and their concern is not without a reason. Performance measurement is how organization and public measure the quality of services and products.
Customer satisfaction is the good indicator that shows whether or not the clinic’s current QI plan is working. Performance measures are an key element of the overall quality management of an organization. Quality improvement process is the defined set of principles that at the end of the day affects customer satisfaction. For a new QI plan development, systematic evaluation of current methods will be important for determining in which direction the new plan should take us. Since patients tend to perceive quality to apply clinic’s overall responsiveness to their need, as well as the effectiveness of the treatment (Ginsburg & Glasmire, 2012) , it is best to concentrate new QI plan around the “turn-around” time, and speed up the process of care, and that way touching on a main concern of Campbell clinic’s patients- time.
Campbell Clinic’s QI goal can be summarized by stating that; it wants to become the number one choice of consumers for orthopedic surgery. For this goal to be achieved, QI plan will have to achieve results that will grade the clinic’s work higher form local hospitals on the consistent bases. External indicators can provide us with feedback we need to have control over the situation, and how customers perceive the clinic. HCAHPS is a nationally standardized survey available to customers of the clinic. “The intent of the HCAHPS initiative is to provide a standardized survey instrument and data collection methodology for measuring patients’ perspectives on hospital care.” (Hospital Quality Care Information from the Consumer Perspective, 2013)
Another external quality indicator that is commonly used by consumers is; the word-of-mouth. Oral recommendations, positive or negative comments, affect the reputation, and people’s perception of provider’s quality. The third external indicator does not have anything to do with consumers; accrediting bodies such as Joint Commission, that the clinic has to have in order to show the consumers and competitors across the nation that they are committed to certain performance standards.
For any QI plan to be implemented successfully, feedback form the stakeholders is a necessity. All the stakeholders internal and external have a huge influence on everything that is taking place in the organization, including any QI plans and processes. As the health care environment is moving towards patient centered care, more emphasis will be placed on quality of services and products that organizations are able to offer. Campbell Clinic will have to utilize performance measurements and QI process to stay ahead of the game, and ensure the longevity of the organization.
Campbell Clinic Orthopedics. (2002). About. Retrieved from http://www.campbellclinic.com/?page_id=357 Ginsburg, M., & Glasmire, K. (2012). Consumers’ Priorities for Hospital Quality Improvement. Retrieved from http://www.chcf.org/publications/2011/04/consumers-priorities-hospital-quality Hospital Quality Care Information from the Consumer Perspective. (2013). HCAHPS Hospital Survey-Background. Retrieved from http://www.hcahpsonline.org/home.aspx