Total Quality Management: The problem, in this case, is experienced at a large healthcare integrated delivery system where a centralized call center is used for its 3 million patients. Through the call center, the patients are able to call and make a request to be connected to advise nurse despite there being a telephone line for this, to the pharmacy, and seek the billing services. The call center operates throughout the day and has a workforce of 30 employees where 6 are scheduled to work on each shift. However, over the last 6 months there have been patients’ complaints indicating that their phones have in most cases been put on hold, slow phone response, and in most cases have had to call back. It is for this reason, that the CEO has instituted a team of 4 members to carry out a cause and effect analysis of this issue of poor publicity.
It will be important to make all the team members understand that people are an essential building block in a TQM project. The complexity of the project at hand makes the use of team-work the only efficient method through which the process improvement and re-design can be achieved. To improve processes and yield better results, my advice to the team is to encourage the free exchange of ideas, information, knowledge, and data (Cooney & Sohal, 2004). There should also be a culture of interdependence as opposed to that of independence.
The team’s task is related on how to continually improve and enhance their business performance and capabilities of the call center (Topalovic, 2015). The process to be applied in achieving this will be total quality management. The steps of the total quality management process to be used include one, the selection of control subject comprised of the process characteristics and producer manual, two, the development of measurement by which the actual performance of the call center will be measured. The third step will include the establishment of a standard of performance. The fourth step includes methods to measure the actual performance of the process under study, interpret actual and standard performances through comparing them to ascertain whether the quality improvement goals are attained, and taking corrective action aimed at restoring conformances to requirements (Abraham, 2014).
The TQM project will be carried out using a cause and effect analysis technique. This involves the identification of all the possible causes affecting the project. This technique is mostly applicable to projects involving the definition of a problem, identification of potential data requirements, identification of possible causes, development of solutions, and narrowing on the causes. A fishbone tool is an effective diagrammatic representation of the problem. Through the use of this tool it is possible to identify the root causes of the problem, thereby, offer an opportunity to eliminate the problem. The tool provides an opportunity to team members to gain deeper insights into the problem as well aide in developing possible solutions. Through the use of the fish-bone diagram, the team can concentrate on the root cause of the problem as opposed to only dealing with the symptoms.
The team members can collaborate and brainstorm in the first steps of the process involving the identification of the problem and setting of the standard performance measure. Peter Sullivan, who is the current supervisor at the call center, can be allocated to the role of collecting data on the actual performance of the Call Center. Suzie Que, a marketing specialist working on the patient recruitment campaign, can analyze how staffing affects the performance of the Call Center. Willie Brown, a retired X-ray technician and volunteer at the IDS, will be tasked with the role of carrying out an analysis between the actual and standard performance. Sally Niven, a college graduate student will be tasked with the responsibility of collaborating with other team members to write the synthesized report.
The PDCA cycle will be the recommended performance improvement model that will be considered in the report. This model allows for continuous improvement and will be effective for this project that may entail an improvement of the design of the process.
Abraham, D. (2014). The Necessary Steps to Follow in Total Quality Management TQM Process. LinkedIn. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141209162625-362270308-the-necessary-steps-to-follow-in-total-quality-management-tqm-process/
Cooney, R., & Sohal, A. (2004). Teamwork and total quality management: a durable partnership. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 15(8), 1131-1142.
Topalović, S. (2015). The implementation of total quality management in order to improve production performance and enhancing the level of customer satisfaction. Procedia Technology, 19, 1016-1022.
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