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quality function deployment and the development of a total quality ...

quality function deployment and the development of a total quality ...

quality function deployment and the development of a total quality

International Journal of Applied Strategic Management: Volume 1 Issue 1AbstractQuality has become an increasingly important means of competition in thehealthcare industry. A marketing strategy has to be based on managementcommitment to continuous quality improvement (CQI), and this has to beapplied hospital-wide and systematically. Our earlier paper, "Total QualityManagement in Practice: A Singapore Healthcare Study" have indicated thatSingapore hospitals have reached a certain state of development in their totalquality management (TQM) practices. However, these practices have failedto meet customers' expectations. Quality Function Deployment (QFD) whichis a systematic technique for designing services or products that are based oncustomers' expectations has been used successfully in almost all industries.This paper discusses why QFD is chosen as the methodology for thedevelopment of a total quality healthcare model. Through a case study of ahospital, this paper explores the feasibility of using QFD in healthcare. Basedon the results, a total quality model was developed to guide healthcaremanagers in their CQI/total quality journey.Keywords:Continuous Quality Improvement, Healthcare, Quality Function Deployment,Total Quality, Total Quality ManagementIntroductionThe rapid growth and the dramatic changes in the hospital industry arechallenging healthcare managers to find alternative ways of remaining viable.CQI is recognised as the winning strategy in today's rapidly changing andcompetitive healthcare environment. In our paper, "Total QualityManagement in Practice: A Singapore Healthcare Study", the authors haverecommended that hospitals should evaluate their existing TQM processesand activities and the result should be used to form the basis for the policymakingprocess. However, a hospital would need to identify and articulate theexpectations and perceptions of their customers before they could evaluatethe effectiveness of their TQM processes and activities. The problem is thatlearning how to elicit customers' expectations is not an easy task for anindustry that has always assumed it knows what the customer needs. While itis clear to all healthcare managers that the financial incentives have changedand the "golden days" of medicine are over, answers about how to respond tocustomers' expectations are few and far between. Some researchers haveargued that the application of TQM may offer a partial solution (Geber, 1992;Anderson, 1992; Fried, 1992; Lawrence and Early, 1992 and Bergman, 1994).This is because TQM is a process which embraces the conscious striving forzero defects in all aspects of an organisation's activities or management withworkforce co-operating in the processes, developing, producing andmarketing quality goods and services which satisfy customers' needs andexpectations first time and every subsequent time (Haigh and Morris, 1993).TQM is also a system or process to improve both efficiency and qualitythrough continuous improvement of the delivery of patient care and of thehttp://www.managementjournals.com Page 1

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