A Quality Thought

Quality results from quality processes. This is true for organizational performance and clinical outcomes every bit as much as it is true for manufactured products. A process can be thought of as a systematic transformation of inputs to create a desired output. Too often, the people who use the process are blamed for poor quality results—even when poor quality stems from a shortcoming in the process itself.

A quality-driven organization will not only define the critical steps in their processes, they will measure those critical steps. Measuring defined processes provides insight into the adequacy of the process as well as the adequacy of the training on the process. Process metrics can also help organizations anticipate adverse trends and make adjustments, thereby keeping their processes under control.

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