Managing Quality in Health and Social Care
Quality Perspectives in Health and Social Care
Speaking about the quality of the service in health and social care, it is necessary to say that the point of view of stakeholders, employees, and patients will differ from each other. Stakeholders affect the activity of health and social care organizations and are involved in their service. The stakeholders pay for the services and are users of healthcare. The stakeholders and users of services understand quality perspectives in their own way. However, quality is meeting clients’ interests and requirements. Quality can be added only by providing services that are necessary for clients.
There are stakeholders that think that one can increase quality with the help of the implementation of new healthcare services. Some stakeholders consider that following health and safety regulations and standards will provide quality health and social care. Others suppose that increasing quality can be achieved with the help of employees’ training, learning, and innovation. It is evident that the opinions differ, but only all measures in the complex can provide quality health and social care.
A model of quality consists of a desire for better healthcare and social services, good performance of employees, expectations, desires congruency, expectation disconfirmation, overall service quality, and overall satisfaction. The key points in health and social care concern providing qualitative services, following standards of registration, and meeting healthcare and social standards.
Adapting this model to health and social care, it is necessary to add continuous personal development of health and social care professionals and clinicians. Moreover, health and care staff should be consistently engaged in training and learning. Working to standards is another condition of good quality and audits of healthcare and inspection units of social care can measure whether these standards are followed (Braithwaite 2005).
There is a relationship between the quality of the clinic and the principles of care for the client group, and it is interdependent and interconnected. Moreover, the quality of the clinic attracts more clients, and bad quality influences the reputation of healthcare and social organizations negatively. In order to foster this relationship, it is necessary to work to standards and register all desires of clients.
Besides, values, codes of conduct, subsequent regulations, and laws should be the basement for good quality. For providing quality, the clinic’s and clients’ interests should coincide. The quality of clinics, social homes, day centers, and community services should be monitored for defining failures and mistakes. Besides, the client can leave feedback about health and social care services for meeting their needs (Campbell 2002).
The hospital and the Department of Health play also an important role in the setting of the clinic’s waiting time standards. However, it is necessary to say that not all healthcare and social organizations provide quick waiting time standards, hence, patients always complain about this. Without a doubt, the hospital and the Department of Health can provide clinic waiting time standards and raise their quality and reputation. The setting of clinic waiting time standards can be achieved with the help of its own quality monitoring systems that will control patients and their demands. Besides, quality assurance groups should be involved in setting standards. It is evident that the quality of health and social care depends on open and honest cooperation, taking corrective actions, protecting clients’ interests, and satisfying their demands.
Violation of clinic waiting time standards can lead to serious consequences. First of all, this influences patients’ health. Secondly, health and social care cannot meet the needs of people. Thirdly, healthcare and social targets will not be achieved, and patients will be not satisfied with the quality of services. Violation of clinic waiting time standards leads to poor clinical effectiveness, not guaranteeing the safety of ill patients and poor outcomes. It is worth mentioning that quality in health and social care should constantly be reinforced. Managers of health and social care should implement penalties and warning notices in order to avoid lawsuits and complaints among clients.
Managing quality in health and social care depends on stakeholders, managers, employee staff, and clients. The quality of health and social can be managed with the help of monitoring, following standards of the Human Right Act, 2004, and the Disability Act, 2005. The quality of the clinic and the principles of care are interdependent as the quality of the clinic is the result of following the principles of care. Setting clinic waiting time standards is the biggest issue of health and social care organizations, for this reason, in order to manage quality, one should be more attentive to clients, and follow healthcare and social regulations (Campbell 2002).
Strategies for Achieving Quality
For measuring the quality of performance of the clinic, it is necessary to use the approach of conformance to the standards. This approach presupposes setting goals and aims for healthcare settings. Besides, health and social care organizations should plan everything carefully especially when it comes to procedures and policies for bettering quality. Constant monitoring should be conducted and the results of which should be analyzed. For the implementation of good quality, one should provide good communication with clients. Health and social care organizations should be open to the implementation of something new and adapting to changes.
Implementation of new health plans and the development of new programs for improving healthcare also prove the quality of health and social care. To my mind, by implementing systems and policies for health, safety, and security, healthcare and social care companies may deal with such dilemmas as employer-based coverage, losses of costs, decreasing of price on their services, complaints of employees and their clients, high competition, and even lawsuits. As a result, measuring the quality of performance should be a constant process.
For the implementation of a quality system for a clinic, one should use the standards-based approach to quality. To measure the quality of performance of a clinic, one should regard the quality as exceptionality, as the effectiveness in achieving objectives and meeting customers’ needs. The quote states “Some things are better than others; that is, they have more quality. It is a grade of goodness or excellence. Quality, therefore, means free from defects” (Campbell 2002). At the present time, quality in health and social care is a problematic issue that needs immediate solutions. In health and social care organizations, quality should be an exceptional phenomenon that should provide special and distinctive services.
Without a doubt, health and social care organizations should have an exceptional approach. However, an exceptional approach is not always possible. In health and social care, quality should be an effective way of achieving objectives. However, this approach is not always implemented in full measure. When health and social care meets customer’s needs, he/she can also state about quality, hence, quality should always correspond to the satisfaction of patients.
Quality is the main strategy of health and social care organizations which is why established quality systems will benefit them. They should create their own quality plans that include the peculiarities of their services, and the special programs that promote quality of communication with patients and meet their demands.
The clinic will help to improve its quality rating when it will propose healthy and safe conditions for patients, provide a good employee staff, abide by local, state, and federal regulations, be responsible for its failures, and find ways how to avoid them in the future, reduce the level of complaints and lawsuits, create a positive organizational culture, implement quality management systems and be ready to proposition of improvement of their quality (Campbell 2002).
The quality of a clinic has an impact not only on the patients but also on staff and stakeholders. When services do not meet clients’ expectations, they are not satisfied and always complain or even sue in court, thus, social care services should find ways to meet people’s needs. When clients are satisfied with services of health and social care, their responses benefit the good reputation of the organization. The bad quality of a clinic also provokes difficulties in the recruitment of staff as employees prefer to work in good conditions providing qualitative services. Clients pay for individualized help which is why if the services are qualitative a client can receive what he/she wants.
There are many barriers that prevent from improving quality. These barriers can be provoked by a lack of necessary documented procedures and incentives from the leader’s side to change something and patient-centered values and culture. A lack of relevant support and training is also a big problem for health and social care organizations.
Moreover, health and social care organizations do not have enough expertise for interpreting their data. In addition, the main barrier is connected with the lack of desire to change or implement something new. It is necessary to mention that health and social care organizations are deprived of time and costs for bettering their quality. Lack of leadership in providing quality is also a crucial factor as employee staff should be supported in the questions of providing qualitative services (Braithwaite 2005).
Evaluating Systems, Policies, and Procedures
Systems, policies, and procedures for achieving quality in health and social care are effective but not in full measure. All regulations and rules should be followed for providing health and safety. Both local and governmental regulations are to be followed by employees for bettering the quality of their services. All health and social care organizations have their own policies, but they should put governmental ones as the main ones. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 should be one of the main sets of regulations and rules. This act is the basement of health and safety in health and social care. Following all procedures, policies, and systems should be done by all employees and employers.
One can distinguish many factors that influence the achievement of quality in the clinic. Delivering high quality in health and social care organizations is an important question, for this reason, it is necessary to identify these factors. Patient-reported outcomes, complications, symptoms, survival rates, and treatment outcomes are crucial factors in the achievement of quality. Health and social care should provide safety, avoid harm, provide clean and safe environments, and report medical errors for avoiding them in the future.
Health and social care should be available to all clients’ needs and overcome financial obstacles as they prevent access to necessary care. Avoidance of unnecessary interventions, careful use of resources, and value for money are the factors that benefit a good quality. Health and social care should deliver with compassion, provide personalized and patient-centered care, provide respect, and analyze and improve clients’ experiences.
For improving the quality of the clinic, health, and social care employees should constantly develop their skills, learn and train, and ensure that their work is done according to quality standards. Without a doubt, there is no ideal health and social care employee but all of them should be knowledgeable and be interested in their work. Moreover, one should provide good communication as it is the key to quality. Health and social care employees should do online studying; attend group discussions, meetings,s and seminars. To fulfilling the gap in knowledge, employees should discuss the most problematic questions. Besides, all employees should know about the people they care for as they can leave good remarks about their work.
The eternal dilemma of all health and social care companies is a lack of money. Implementing systems and policies means additional costs. Healthcare companies should implement such procedures as risk assessment, and hazard methods for analyzing accidents and injuries at the workplace. The companies must also spend money on learning and training employees of providing qualitative services. They should do their best in order to provide positive health and safety culture among employees and clients.
Nobody denies the fact that health and safety policies and qualitative services are effective in promoting a positive organizational culture. Keeping a positive organizational culture is a step in avoiding dissatisfaction. However, the problem is that safety, security, and health are not the main concepts of the policy of the organization. At the present time, healthcare and social organizations and companies struggle for health culture among employees at the workplace and for providing a high level of quality.
To my mind, management that does not abide by legislation and regulation and carries out their roles and responsibilities in a given health and safety situation will make the reputation of the company worse. The level of complaints will increase. Without a doubt, the reputation of the company depends on the policy of health and safety and the level of quality. One recommends in health and safety and services following the best quality. The next dilemma is that clients constantly are complaining about the rudeness of the medical workers, problems with insurance, low quality of services in the questions of health, safety, and security, hence, the companies should find ways for struggling with such problems.
Methodologies for Evaluating Service Quality
There are many ways for measuring and evaluating service quality in health and social care. One recommends using nice questionnaires for filling by the patients. This questionnaire will help to reveal whether the patients are satisfied with the quality of services or dissatisfied. Without a doubt, only patients can give honest and fair opinions about health and care services.
One should communicate the result of this questionnaire. Also, it is needful to distinguish different procedures for communicating information in health and social care workplaces. Reporting and recording patients’ opinions are the main ones. They measure the level of statistics of complaints and positive remarks in the health and social environment. It is necessary to say that one should not only collect information on health and social care workplace but take the necessary actions in order to make this information only positive.
Interviews and small focus groups are other ways of evaluating service quality. All complaints procedures should be fixed and controlled for achieving good levels of quality services. One can create feedback forms that also can measure the quality of any health and social care. Feedback forms will be beneficial for improving the quality. One uses the following principles of reporting and recording patients’ responses, namely data storage, reports, and information on health and safety items, dairies, assessment, and analysis. In order to report and records the statistics about the responses of patients, it is necessary to gather facts and information, to analyze the received facts, and organize the data.
Moreover, one should also use scientific methods of measurement. For qualitative evaluation, one should analyze the resulting data. After that, one should implement changes within organizations in order to avoid such failures and complaints in the future. Employees of health and social care should have reports about the resulting data and the ways how to use them for bettering quality.
The result of the inspection will not bring an immediate effect on the quality improvement. One should include in the inspection not only patients but also employees of the organization. Only innovations, development, training, and learning of employees and organizational culture can probe about quality in health and social care. Besides methodologies for evaluating service quality, one needs supportive and visible leadership. Waiting times, waiting list sizes, and illnesses are measures of the absence of quality. For a client or patient, the quality depends on such factors as experience before treatment, during this process, and post-treatment period. However, sometimes healthcare employees are not guilty of failures in the post-treatment period but patients will complain about this.
It is necessary to say that even for patients it is difficult to evaluate service quality which is why patients’ assessment should be more complex. Patients always take care of the process of service delivery and the outcome of a service. Poor service quality is the result of bad management and leadership. Patient’s assessment of service quality includes such criteria as access (contact, approachability), communication (information, attention, listening, politeness, understanding, and culture), competence (necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities), courtesy (consideration, respect, politeness, friendliness, attention, credibility (honesty, believability, trustworthiness), reliability (performing of services accurately and dependably), responsiveness (willingness to help), security (no dangers and risks), understanding of a patient (interest to a patient).
Summary of Evidence
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that quality perspectives in health and social care depend on stakeholders, the relationship between the quality of the clinic and the principles of care for the patients, the hospital, the Department of health, and the following of standards, rules, and regulations. Strategies for achieving quality include exceptionality, effectiveness in achieving objectives, and meeting customers’ needs. There are many barriers that prevent from improving quality. These barriers can be provoked by a lack of necessary documented procedures, incentives from the leader’s side to change something, and patient-centered values and culture. A lack of relevant support and training is also a big problem for health and social care organizations. Moreover, health and social care organizations do not have enough expertise for interpreting their data.
Systems, policies, and procedures for achieving quality in health and social care are effective but not in full measure. All regulations and rules should be followed for providing health and safety. Both local and governmental regulations should be followed by employees for bettering the quality of their services. All health and social care organizations have their own policies but they should put governmental ones as the main.
In conclusion, it is needful to say that quality is the most important aspect of health and social care organizations. The main issues of quality policy are the detection of dissatisfaction and complaints, the achievement of greater savings for providing of qualitative services, innovations in healthcare solutions, individual and family plans for insurance, and the provision of quality services. For better functioning of all organizations, they should collaborate with other companies in the questions of quality and follow standards. Managers of health and social care companies should not forget about controlling the quality. There should be a responsible person for checking patients’ responses and remarks about services.