1. Describe the Program's Quality Improvement Model
The healthcare manager interviewed is from TRICARE a US healthcare company providing healthcare programs for active and retired personnel from the military, their families, survivors and former spouses anywhere worldwide. The program is a component of the US Military Health System, bringing together resources of the military services with a supplement of civilian doctors, hospitals, medical treatment clinics, drugstores and various suppliers of medical services. This arrangement enables the company to provide high-quality health care services within the umbrella of the military organization.
In 2010, TRICARE implemented a combination of the Six Sigma and IHI approach to quality improvement.
The Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) approach to quality improvement, also known as the Rapid Cycle Change which is based on Langley’s Model for Improvement addresses three major concerns. These are:
What are we trying to accomplish?
How will we know that a change is an improvement?
What changes can we make that will result in improvement?
Six Sigma was also used. This approach has been used in the healthcare industry since the 1980s. It uses a structured approach called DMAIC – Define Measure Analyse Improve Control and complements this with statistical analysis called statistical process control. The goal of the analysis is to determine what in the process is “chance” or “assignable” variation. The result is a determination of which processes can be streamlined, using statistical basis.
3. Discuss With Your Interviewee Procedures Used To Address Quality Assurance In The Healthcare Program.
Based on the interview, the quality assurance procedures include:
Identification and screening of subcontractors that provide healthcare services. The screening process ensures that the subcontractors will be able to provide, maintain if not improve the quality standards of TRICARE, as required by the uniformed services.
Personalized assurance by the healthcare manager to the clients leading to very exacting and intimate provision of services.
4. Discuss What Issues Have Impacted Quality Of Services (E.G. Economics, Human Error, Technology, Etc.)
TRICARE’s challenge is the dispersal of its clientele. It services are required by many people around the world so it is very difficult to have a standard type of service in all its branches. The most difficult aspect of the business is therefore standardization, because variations due to human practices compound the difficulty of providing healthcare services. To mitigate this, the company has a standard training program for its managers, such that when these managers are deployed to their respective branches, the philosophies of healthcare provision are uniform.
5. Determine How Accountability For Quality Assurance Services Is Assessed.
The assurance for quality rests on the manager’s shoulders. The healthcare manager interviewed indicated that the “buck” literally stops at his door. His involvement includes the whole range of services, such that people that do not follow his lead receive his ire quickly. This is a negative side of being too involved, his inability to delegate has exposed the weakness of his approach.
5. What Measures Are In Place To Ensure That Quality Services Are Provided By Employees Of The Program?
The company itself introduced quality improvement programs that put the front-line personnel in the middle of the improvement program. This ensures that the quality of services are improved and maintained. In addition, a standardization of the procedures are in place which makes the provision of services uniform in all branches of TRICARE.
Healthcare Program Manager Interview Notes
Tricare health care program is a program that was formed to provide medical services to the employees of department of defense, their dependants and the people who have retired from the same department. The program has various branches. The regional manager of Colorado Tricare health care program is a man of 47 years old. According to an interview I carried out, the man posses’ good leadership skills that have made it possible to provide quality services to the people under the region. Due to the good leadership skills, the regional manager has remained in his position for the last four years. The manager is a university graduate with a master of science in health care management. This is a course that has made the manager to be aware of various management strategies that ensure the good performance of the branch.
Tricare health program is a program under the ministry of defense. The program main objective is to ensure that the military officials, their family members and their beneficially receive the necessary health care. However, the regional offices like that in Colorado do not directly offer the medical services directly to the people. Instead, they hire contractors who ensure that the services are delivered to the members (Kongstvedt, 2012). Through the contractors, the Tricare managers ensure that the members are able to access dental services, receive the necessary medicine and have an insurance cover. The branch also ensures that the members of the program have a proper world class health care program to ensure that any medical expenses are taken care of. In this regard, the employees working under ministry of defense receive appropriate medical care due to the program.
The role of the Colorado health care manager is to supervise the employees at this regional office. The manager is also required to advise the members of the program on the best health care program to choose. The other responsibility of the manager is to enter into contracts with the various health service providers to ensure that the employees under the department of defense together with their family members receive healthcare services. Whenever the employees need the services, the manager is the person to refer him/her to the place where the service is to be provided depending on the needs of the client. Generally, the manager serves the employees in the office, the employees of department of defense, the contractors providing the medical services and the ministry of defense under which he works.
One major feature of leadership that the manager possesses is passion. Regardless of the many challenges that the manager faces in his job position, he never gives up. He is always committed to ensuring that all his clients are effectively served. The manager is also well informed in his field. He has a wide knowledge in healthcare and hence it is usually easy for him to make appropriate decisions. For example, there are many healthcare providers but he is aware of the healthcare’s that should be given contracts due to the quality of their work. The manager is a critical thinker. He has been able to advise various employees on the various healthcare plans they should adopt for their benefit after he has analysed various information presented by such clients. Rarely has the employees complained after receiving advice from the manager. The manager is also a visionary individual. He has set up the goal of ensuring that Colorado is best branch in terms of providing services to its clients. He has put in place various measures to ensure that quality services are delivered to the clients. All these features show that the manager possess good leadership characteristics.
The manager has various leadership strengths that make it possible for him to run the office appropriately. He has good communication skills that ensure that instructions are effectively given to the employees. He is also very hard working such that the other employees also admire him and in response work hard. He is self-motivated person who does not need supervision since he is aware of his responsibilities and work hard to ensure his duties are performed. He is self-confident and motivated to ensuring success of the branch. He set goals and usually works hard to ensure that they are accomplished (Northouse, 2010). Nobody can stop him from achieving the goals he has already set.
However, the manager has several weaknesses. He is not a good team leader since he has no ability to organize people to perform their duties. He is not able to easily learn the environment within a short period of time and then respond to the changes. He is a person who becomes angry easily when other employees go against his will. These weaknesses sometimes hinder the performance of his activities.
Borkowski, N. (2011). Organizational behaviour in health care. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Northouse, P. G. (2010). Leadership: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Kongstvedt, P. R. (2012). Essentials of managed health care. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
Powerll, AE., Rushmer, RK, and Davies HTO. (2009). A Systematic Narrative Review of Quality Improvement Models In Health Care. Retrieved from http://www.healthcareimprovementscotland.org/previous_resources/hta_report/a_systematic_narrative_review.aspx Retrieved on September 5, 2012