University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Healthcare Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Oct 2020

Abstract

Implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM) in healthcare has been affected by several shortcomings. Among these is the inadequacy of learning and knowledge sharing methods adopted to support TQM implementation. However, this aspect has been widely ignored in healthcare and the aim of this study is to explore how learning and knowledge sharing policies influence TQM initiatives in this sector.
To achieve this, an extended TQM model called “Ethical, Adaptive, Learning, and Improvement Model (EALIM)” was developed and implemented in a private healthcare organisation in the United Kingdom. Using action research, data was collected from 91 participants over a 21-month period from qualitative interviews, focus groups, and participant observations.
Findings include increased employee competence through practice-based training, reflecting the importance of tacit knowledge sharing. The prevalent blame culture changed to a learning culture through an appreciative management style that focused on what is done right. In addition, patients’ satisfaction and quality of care improved through community groups that were set up to address quality problems and patients’ needs.
The findings indicate that adequate knowledge sharing methods play an important role in improving quality in healthcare. Greater consideration should therefore be given to this widely ignored aspect when implementing TQM in healthcare.

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