Thinking beyond material resources: quality is what people are!
Chawla, Rajiv (2000) Thinking beyond material resources: quality is what people are! Published by author.
Full text available as:
Let us begin this article by looking at the typical Indian scenario following any event of mass casualty. Throw yourself back by a few years. We had the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, Uphaar Cinema tragedy, Bombay bomb blasts, Qutab Minar Stampede to name a few. More recently, we have had a series of train accidents. Each incident makes us realize how unprepared we are in handling such situations. The follow up action is almost similar: A commission of enquiry is set up to enquire into the event which invariably concludes that the existing health care system is ‘not appropriate’ to manage such situations. It highlights poor infrastructure: inadequate medical centers, poor transportation, communication network, equipments, and other material resources. In short the system is not providing ‘Quality Care’. As a remedial measure, it is often followed by urgent allocation of additional funds to procure better vehicles, better equipment, and other material resources aiming to ‘upgrade’ the quality of the existing system. However, ironically, more often than not the system fails again at the very next disaster. It is labeled as ‘ineffective’. Unfortunately, the additional investments to improve the quality improved only the efficacy but not the effectiveness. “Quality, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder”. It is difficult to define. It does not happen by accident; it has to be planned. In the developed nations, more precise definition was offered when the quality of medical care became a ‘must’. The most common definition is “Quality is the measurement of harmony between legal aims and realized care”. In any system, efficacy can be considered as the capacity to produce maximum effects. Effectiveness on the other hand would be the degree to which these predetermined objectives are achieved. The quest for efficiency and quality is inherent in man. Improvements in the field of medical technology for patient care are a result of constant human endeavor to do more and better in lesser time. The environment in which our patient care system operates today is changing rapidly. A major agent of this change is technology. All organizations are subject to the influence of new and changing technology. Adequate attention must be given to the technology aspects while strategic decisions are made. Acquisition of technology, therefore, forms an important aspect of health care system management. However, it is pertinent to note and realize that bringing in newer technology improves the efficacy of the system, but it will be translated into effectiveness only when it gains the continuous support and participation of the people in the system. If newer concepts and ideas are to succeed, it is important to carry people along with them. Technology is only an opportunity. It is people, not technology alone that yields results. In India today, everybody has assess to the same technology. The fact is that some organizations take up technology and use it effectively, and give quality products and services; and the ones that do not use technology effectively fall behind. The key word is ‘professionalism’. The important aspect is how technology transfer benefits can be maximized? How to improve the overall quality of care? At the best, the effectiveness equals efficacy, and this relationship can be stated as: Effectiveness = M X Efficacy Where ‘M’ actually stands for Quality of Management and reflects success of implementation, with a range from 0 to 1. In organizations and communities where the need for ‘quality’ services is high, the environment is conducive to adopt new concepts of generating a near ideal system; M may then equal 1. Effectiveness then tends to equal efficacy. On the other hand, the organizations may not be ‘primed’ for quality. Political, cultural or other considerations distort or obscure the basic need for better quality. In such environment, the involvement of people and community as a whole is restricted; management is poor and M close to 0. Despite high efficacy, the system is ineffective, and of poor quality. Remember, the world class performance only comes when people are in the roles that utilize their talents best. Talented employees in the right role are the ones who can build emotional bonds and give quality results; others cannot. Let us think about our self: shut the eyes and think for our best and worst performances. For most of us, these experiences are memorable due to talented people and nightmarish due to miscast people. Quality does not happen by accident, it has to be planned. It is a never ending journey, and the first step is commitment of the top managers. It is always the result of high intentions, sincere efforts, intelligent direction, and skillful execution. It requires proper foresight and perception. TQ managers see their employees as a work group and believe that their team wants to do a good job. The managers must learn skills of collaboration. Quality management suggests that an important part of quality assurance is the ability to motivate and mobilize people. Quality assurance is based on three foundations: · It should be voluntary · It should be based on motivation · It should be transparent and simple Quality is what you perceive; quality is what one strives for. Provided the performance of the workforce is maximized, there will be continuous improvement in quality. Thus, one should: Value People For Valuable · Patient care · Publications and Research · Publicity · Presentations Leading onto invaluable Peace of Mind. In short, Value People for Valuable (Quality) Production
Archive Staff Only: edit this record