In healthcare system,
there are various definitions of quality as different stakeholders may perceive
the meanings in their own perspectives. There are still some shared definitions
from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) which defined quality in healthcare system
as the extent to which the services increase the possibility of desired health
outcomes and are consistent with updated professional knowledge, in order to
meet the expectations of healthcare users (Fletcher, 2000).
Total Quality Management
(TQM) is an ongoing process where all levels of members within organization are
committed to collect data on customer needs continuously and review the data to
provide customers with products and services that satisfy their needs (Marquis
and Huston, 2009).
improvement is rather an integral part of
every role within an organization. It welcomes suggestions for
improvement and innovation in order to improve systems and
In TQM, staff are ’empowered’
to approach problems in a proactive and creative manner and there is a high
level of trust and support between the employers and employees which in turn
increases job satisfaction and retention, as well as improving quality of
Examples of the core
elements of TQM include
1. Customer- focused, which drives the
organizations to foster quality improvement
training, integrating quality process
2. Strategic approach,
which includes the formation of an organizational direction plan that consider
quality as the major component.
3. Continuous improvement,
which drives the organization to be more competing and effective to fulfill
needs of stakeholders.
4. Training which is
essential for employees to achieve high levels of quality and efficiency.
5. Teamwork is
significant for complex problems in healthcare system which requires
multi-profession involvement and improvement relies on collaboration.
6. Leadership with ability
to provide inspiring vision or crucial direction brings about the quality of
7. Communication, in
which a mutual channel leads to success of the TQM process.
8. Recognition, which members
are more likely to gain productivity and quality when they are recognized.