This article explains the importance of a strong standardized QMS (Quality Management System) in healthcare organizations.

Getting a standardized Quality Management System (QMS) is necessary for businesses of all types because it helps them meeting or exceeding the expectations of their customers. That directly helps them in gaining a consistent customer base that is highly satisfied with the products or services and intends to buy repetitively from them. An ISO 9001 quality management system is the top standard widely accepted by businesses worldwide. However, the focus of this article is quality management in healthcare. This article aims at answering whether it is equally effective in enhancing patients’ safety and satisfaction.

A regulatory QMS like ISO 9001 works to streamline the treatment processes in the healthcare organizations which include the evaluation of staff performance, training and watching patient satisfaction index. The following section explains the main functions of a QMS in the healthcare industry.

5 Functions of an ISO 9001 QMS in a Healthcare Institute

Centralized Storage of Patient Data

The key to quality assurance in healthcare is to have abundant and relevant data of the patients including their personal details, medical history, diagnostic reports, treatment records, and so on. Keeping patients’ data safely stored is a primary function of the QMS because that helps the healthcare providers to decide the next course of action for their treatment or recovery. Hence, the data should be documented properly and stored in secure devices or cloud systems to prevent them from being breached, lost, or hacked from the hospital network.

Supplier Quality Management

For efficient and top-notch patient care, a healthcare institute firstly requires the supply of quality equipment, treatment tools, and medicines. Here, a QMS plays a critical role. It assists in maintaining supplier quality by promoting practices and specified regulations for the medical device suppliers and pharmaceutical agents. Besides, with the help of the QMS, a healthcare organization can keep track of the processes and performance of the suppliers to ensure that they are supplied with the right and safe items including devices, equipment, tools and drugs.

Helpful for Decision-making

For a healthcare center, decision-making primarily involves improving the patients’ condition and speed of recovery. The physicians, assistants and nurses should have the access to the stored patient data all the time. The QMS is useful to ensure the access to patient’s vital data to a hierarchy of people i.e., doctors, and their assistants and nurses. When all the primary caregivers have authorized access to useful data, they can take the appropriate decisions for the treatment and wellbeing of patients.

Complaints Management

Efficient complaints management is required in healthcare management to record and analyze the patients’ or their families’ grievances. Based on the recorded information, the healthcare provider can put forth the right actions and address the problems of patients. A comprehensive healthcare QMS helps to take care of two key issues regarding complaints management, which are- collecting complaints from the patients and,implementing the improvements to address them as soon as possible.

Meeting Compliance with Regulations

It is quintessential for healthcare organizations to meet compliance standards and other health regulations. Their professionals need to adhere to the best healthcare practices to demonstrate their conformance to the regulatory and local statutory standards. A QMS implemented in a healthcare center automatically assists their professionals to comply with all standard regulations. It makes regular reviews an essential part of their everyday process for compliance management. Reviews help in identifying any noncompliance issues in their healthcare service or procedures and rectify them with appropriate measures.

The main role of implementing a standardized QMS is to ensure improved patient satisfaction. Quality care is supremely important for effective treatment services and satisfaction of patients. The ISO 9001 quality management standard, being the most influential QMS, is going to serve that purpose. From assisting you to record all crucial patient data to systematically managing the suppliers and handling the complaints, the QMS helps in several ways. When you have the right information set via the QMS, you can make informed decisions that drive the wellbeing and satisfaction of the patients.

Author's Bio: 

Damon Anderson is the owner of a reputed ISO consultancy firm that works with a team of consultants and guides organizations to achieve various management certifications. He is also the lead consultant for the ISO 9001 quality management standard and likes to write articles in free time to make organizations aware of the importance of a QMS (Quality Management System).