Leadership and Quality Management in Healthcare

Introduction

Hospitals are under pressure to change and adopt new leadership models. The changes are geared towards reducing the cost incurred during the provision of health care and improve services provided to patients (Kennedy & Fiss 2009). Effective leadership in medical institutions aims at identifying the areas that are responsible for low-quality care and increased costs (Lakshman 2006). After the identification process, leadership attempts to reduce these factors so that individuals seeking health care could be satisfied. Satisfaction among patients and lean operation costs ensures that facilities providing health care could make reasonable profits and keep in business. The topic of leadership in medical institutions and how TQM promotes it is essential in the management of health institutions at a time when there are challenges from different sources affecting the institutions (Miller, Sumner & Deane 2009).

TQM models

TQM approaches were first formulated by organizational behavior researchers. The management approaches have been used in many organizations to improve the efficiency and outcomes of operations (Lakshman 2006). TQM focuses on managing systems within organizations and improving the service quality. Service quality in hospitals is measured by patient satisfaction upon receiving health care from the hospital. Effective leaders who adopt TQM in their management incorporate the concepts of involvement and delegation in their leadership styles (Lakshman 2006). Such leaders have sound strategic management and planning and are good at handling changes and crises in hospitals. Research demonstrates that health care can be enhanced in hospitals by conducting research to understand the impeding factors (Rad 2005).

TQM theoretical model fits in the hospital leadership because it incorporates research and broad decision-making paradigms in its conceptual framework. The conceptual framework is essential because successful hospitals need to have sound decision making and strategic planning leaders to perform well. TQM is based on the integration of several theories and approaches that make up an organizational management system. The current TQM being used by organizations is based on performance evaluation, statistical analysis, decision making approaches, and project management. These aspects are crucial in the sound management of hospitals because they help to promote hospital outcomes. Hospital leadership within TQM ensures that hospital leadership is focused on information, goals, decision-making models, and change management models (Rad 2005).

Strategic leaders in hospitals are required to adopt TQM approaches to management because TQM attempts to align internal systems within organizations with external surroundings (Svensson 2005). The alignment is important in benchmarking and evaluation strategies. TQM aims at enabling personnel within an organization to share information and work towards achieving the goals of the organization. It places emphasis on rewarding stakeholders to promote creativity and innovation within organizations (Svensson 2005).

Within hospital settings, TQM could be used to foster creativity and innovation by rewarding personnel based on their performance (Easton & Jarrell1998). The benefits realized by an organization as a result of increased innovation and creativity are essential for the long-term operations of the organization. TQM approaches empower employees to work in teams that are keen on time and customer satisfaction. This approach endeavors to have all employees assume leadership roles so that they could be in charge of their decisions for the benefits of the organization (Easton & Jarrell1998).

The three models in TQM are the biological model, the mechanical model, and the social model (Vera & Crossan 2004). In the biological model, an organization is viewed as a living thing, its components are the employees within that organization. The mechanical model of management views an organization as a machine. The parts of the machine are employees of an organization. Perhaps the best model that is adopted by the current TQM approaches is the social model which views an organization as a complete society with its members. The members of this model are the employees in an organization. They are assumed to have their own brains and capable of making their decisions.

Leadership in hospitals should adopt the social model of management because it shows that employees are crucial stakeholders who can make their decisions for the benefits of an organization. The model allows participation by workers in formulating the vision and mission of an organization (Han, Chiang & Chang 2010). This enables employees to work towards realizing their vision and accomplishing the mission they formulated. This could be reflected in customer satisfaction. The model also allows employees to plan. The advantages of planning by workers in an organization would be learning that happens (Vera & Crossan 2004). The learning by the workers will be key to individual and group performance within the organization (Han et al 2010).

Leadership in hospitals should adopt TQM with the aim of fostering good performance and patient satisfaction. TQM could also reduce costs incurred by hospitals because the management system within the TQM concentrates on sound financial management and responsibility among employees. Leaders in hospital settings should involve employees in the decision-making process within the organizations to ensure that they work towards achieving some of the goals and objectives they formulated. TQM promotes leadership in hospitals by greatly increasing customer experience and reducing costs (Kennedy & Fiss 2009). Modern hospitals should endeavor towards adopting the TQM system for efficiency, strategic planning, and strategic decision making (Han et al 2010).

The role of leadership in implementing TQM in the hospital

Sound Leadership in the hospital is important in the successful implementation of TQM. Implementation of TQM takes a lot of time and resources. Leaders need to be committed in order to implement TQM in their healthcare institutions. Leaders in the hospital identify the TQM model to use in their institution. The chosen model depends on the benefits it could bring to the hospital. Therefore, leaders do a cost-benefit analysis to assess the cost that could be incurred in implementing TQM and the benefits. If the leaders find that the benefits are more than the cost, then they could adopt the proposed TQM model. On the other hand, leaders in the hospital could change a proposed TQM model when they realize that it has more costs than the expected benefits.

The hospital leadership is also essential in making a proposed TQM model be accepted by personnel in the hospital. Hospital workers are important in ensuring that a TQM model is successfully implemented in the hospital. The leadership could play a role in explaining the benefits of implementing TQM in the hospital. When the hospital workers are aware of the benefits TQM could bring to the hospital, then they could combine efforts to ensure that the TQM implementation is carried out successfully in the hospital.

Implementation of TQM in the hospital requires sound planning by the hospital leadership. It has been established that sound planning goes a long way in ensuring that the proposed TQM model is successfully implemented in the hospital. The leadership should hire experts who have proven experience in spearheading TQM implementation in other institutions. After hiring the experts, the leadership should provide the required resources for planning and implementation.

Finally, the leadership in the hospital could play a crucial role in evaluating the successes and failures of the implemented TQM model. When the hospital leadership identifies the areas that are contributing to failures of the implemented TQM model, then it could propose ways of rectifying the problems in the future.

References

Easton, GS, & Jarrell, SL, 1998 “The Effects of Total Quality Management on Corporate Performance: An Empirical Investigation”, The Journal of Business, Vol. 71, No. 2, pp. 253-307.

Han, TS, Chiang, HH, & Chang, A, 2010, “Employee participation in decision making, psychological ownership and knowledge sharing: Mediating role of organizational commitment in Taiwanese high-tech organizations”, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 21, No.12, pp. 2218-2233.

Kennedy, MT, & Fiss, PC, 2009, “Institutionalization, framing, and diffusion: The logic of TQM adoption and implementation decisions among US hospitals”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 52, No. 5, pp. 897-918.

Lakshman, C, 2006, “A theory of leadership for quality: Lessons from TQM for leadership theory 1”, Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, Vol. 17, No.1, pp. 41-60.

Miller, WJ, Sumner, AT, & Deane, RH, 2009, “Assessment of quality management practices within the healthcare industry”, American Journal of Economics and Business Administration, Vol.1, No. 2, pp. 105.

Rad, AMM, 2005, “ A survey of total quality management in Iran: barriers to successful implementation in health care organizations”, Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 12-34.

Svensson, G, 2005, “Leadership performance in TQM: a contingency approach”, The TQM Magazine, Vol. 17, No. 6, pp. 527-536.

Vera, D, & Crossan, M, 2004, “Strategic leadership and organizational learning. Academy of Management Review, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 222-240.