Total Quality Management in Hospital Pharmacy

Despite these many different functions being discharged by the pharmacists, hospitals find it difficult to recruit pharmacists (Smith). At the same time many of the hospitals take initiatives like staff reductions due to lower patient concentration, reorganization of the hospital facilities, carrying out recommendations of external consultants, implementing automation in drug distribution and mergers and acquisitions of hospitals. In this context, a methodological review of the operations of a hospital becomes necessary for improving the efficiency and functioning of the healthcare settings. One of the recommendations is to apply Total Quality Management (TQM) for improving the performance of pharmacies in the hospitals.
Although TQM has been practiced in manufacturing industries for quite some time, it is relatively a newer concept in the healthcare industry. Interest in the idea of TQM in healthcare settings started to take off during late 1980s. Even though all the hospitals that introduced the system of TQM have not proved successful many of the institutions could streamline their functions applying the concept (Zablocki). In this context this paper describes the application of Total Quality Management in the hospital pharmacies to improve the performance of the pharmacies as well as the overall performance of the hospitals.
No other sector than the healthcare is best suited for the a…
Another issue that healthcare industry is facing is the deterioration in the service quality with numerous complaints from the patients and other stakeholders. In addition employee turnover and shortage of nurses and pharmacists is a major concern at most large and medium sized hospitals. This situation leads to more number of deaths which otherwise could have been avoided with proper systems and procedures in place to deliver quality medical service to the patients (Institute of Medicine). This makes the healthcare industry to respond with an appropriate mechanism to ensure an all round improvement in the efficiency of operations and to provide better and efficient healthcare service to the patients. Since hospital pharmacy happens to be an important constituent of any healthcare setting, revamping the department with the introduction of newer systems and procedures has become imminent. One of the suggested techniques to improve the performance of hospital pharmacies is the Total Quality Management that is applied to meet/exceed customer satisfaction. Most of the hospitals have established quality improvement programs and departments, in order to implement and follow up the quality initiatives not only in the hospital pharmacies but in every department of the hospitals. The quality initiatives taken by these specialized departments have been found to be successful in increasing the awareness of the employees about the customers and patients of the hospital, and the initiatives also helped in error reduction and improving patient satisfaction (Herzlinger). Even though the methods employed focused generally on improving the care, they do not address the issue of improving the organizational systems in total and therefore are not responsive to the needs of the

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