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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Catherine J. Buck, RN, MSN (Froedtert Hospital)
Description: This book is a comprehensive roadmap for executive and middle managers providing pathways for improving health service and for providing and responding to human health needs. This publication provides vivid examples, rich illustrations, and practical tools for planning, implementing, and carrying out performance improvement activities.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide managers with information that will assist them in carrying out their responsibilities by learning how to collect and analyze quality information and data, and becoming familiar with methods that are used to assess and implement effective change. It seeks to instruct its audience on how to prioritize improvement efforts, evaluate resource consumption, produce intelligent reports, and sustain improvement. The authors do an excellent job in meeting these worthy objectives.
Audience: The target audience is upper and middle managers in healthcare organizations. The authors state that although some books target specific areas associated with the delivery of services, such as data analysis techniques, regulatory requirements, resource evaluation, fiscal management, and strategic planning, no book provides overarching theoretical and practical information to assist healthcare leaders, supervisors, managers and staff with their daily responsibilities. This publication is designed to fill this gap. I agree with the authors in their assessment of their work.
Features: The handbook is organized according to topic with theoretical issues outlined and practical tools explained in each chapter. The book covers all essential elements necessary for a sound quality management approach including the role of the manager, project prioritization, statistical methods for data analysis, and use of protocols and standardization. Though there is no mention of the six sigma methodology, much of the body of knowledge presented in the chapter on statistical methods for data analysis covers many of the six sigma tools. Several examples of simple but useful clinical paths are provided along with references for other best practice templates.
Assessment: As a chief operating officer of a complex academic medical center, I think this book provides excellent direction for the development of a sophisticated quality management program moving it from an effort that is concerned only with maintaining compliance and regulatory requirements to the core of the organization's quest for evaluating processes and patient outcomes. This distinguishes it from other publications in the field and I intend to purchase a copy for each leader in my organization.