Research Topic :
Total Quality Management Practices: Analysis Towards the Improvement of Medical Laboratories in Dubai UAE
This segment represents the literature review focusing on providing a critical analysis and subsequent evaluation of the currently obtainable literature sources. The fundamental area of focus in this study is on the guiding theories, different models and frameworks characterizing the Total Quality Management (TQM) in the medical laboratory in the healthcare sector. To achieve this based on the existing research theoretical framework (as demonstrated in the research proposal), several segments characterize this literature review sections. The first section is on the different definitions of concepts in the TQM of interest in this review. The second section will consist of distinct theories and models that establish the best practices in the understanding of the role of TQM in improvement of services delivery in the medical laboratories. The other sections will include the best practice of using TQM as a useful tool for the improvement of medical laboratories, parameters to establish the improvement of medical laboratories and challenges for implementing the TQM practices of medical laboratories. The last section will entail the advantages and benefits of application of the TQM for medical laboratories. All these sections have been described in depth and linked to the concept of the research.
There are multiple definitions associated with TQM. For instance, Sadikoglu and Zehir (2010) defined TQM as a management philosophy which aims at enhancing the integration of the different functions of an organization. The areas include finance, human resources, operations and marketing with a sole purpose of meeting all their set demands and objectives. In this case, the author argued that the successful implementation of the TQM culture includes the enactment of all elements of the company operations with processes being carried out rightfully and for the initial time. Additionally, Gutiérrez et al. (2010) described the Kaizen philosophy of TQM noting that the process includes both systematic and long-term commitment by all stakeholders in an entity. Through this, a progressive improvement through step by step participatory approach for improving daily activities can be employed. To affirm this, studies by Goetsch and Davis (2014); James and Savitz (2011); Kaplan et al. (2010) revealed that majority of the modern entities such as Toyota and Ford have majorly invested in different principles as learned from Deming, Juran, and Feigenbaum. Ultimately, their efficiency in operations has been improved in the different workforces leading to an increase in the overall productivity, profitability, and satisfaction of customers. In regard to the above definitions, TQM can be adopted in medical laboratories in UAE targeting to increase their productivities, improvement of client satisfaction and the creation of sustainable competitive advantages for an enhanced customer services delivery.
According to Muhammad et al. (2010), these processes include analytical, general policies, practices and methodologies defining the contents of work being conducted. To affirm this analogy, Kaplan et al. (2010) noted that some of the established bodies such as Health Professional Council and Health Advisory boards are tasked with ensuring that laboratories are aligned to the different legal processes for the purpose of quality laboratory operations and safety. In light of this, quality laboratory processes can be adopted in ensuring success in UAE medical laboratories. Through this, it could be possible to develop the fresh testing methods in the laboratory are established, assessed and tested to quantify their quality and carry out standardization prior adopting them in the patient analysis.
Quality assurance is a broad array of aspects including policies, plans, and procedures collectively offering administrative structure for efforts set in an entity to achieve quality goals. These assertions by Goetsch and Davis (2014) noted that quality assurance is enacted targeting to ensuring reliability of the laboratory tests in a healthcare setting. This is through enhancing a prompt detection and elimination of any portable errors in all sections of process mapping. In this case, James and Savitz (2011) demonstrated that since the quality concept is in-built, quality assurance is generally recommended to a system that adopts the application of quality improvement tools in enabling an identification of the causes of negative issues in all the laboratory testing levels. Nevertheless, from a global perspective, there exist accreditation bodies that pursue the enhancement of quality achievement.
The medical laboratories practices of enhancing patient care best practices that indicate the need for integrating TQM in their practice which it efficient and outstanding is vital for consideration. This section of literature review evaluates on the best practices and models in the implementation of TQM in medical laboratories. In this essence, the theories evaluated include the lean management theory and Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement towards Accreditation framework theory (SPLIPTA).
According to Salah et al. (2010), lean management is a philosophy established to target the reduction of lead times and adopting a focus on ensuring flexible production lines. This is a practice that focuses on improvement of the quality, productivities, and maximization of the staff utilization. In its current form, the lean management theory focuses on the workplace area of working, increasing of cleanliness and order, guaranteeing the workflow and process for enhancing smooth workflow. In the context of medical laboratories, Hajmohammad et al. (2013) noted that 71% of the patient management decision making is hedged on results obtained from lab tests. In a general perspective, enhancing an improvement on the laboratory processes for increasing efficiencies while enhancing provision of accurate and reliable results ought to offer significant implications for the patient waiting times. To affirm this analogy, Anvari et al. (2011) argued that in critical care segments in a hospital such as a casualty, emergency and pediatric sections in different hospitals ought to elicit life threatening implications. Therefore, adopting the lean management theory is a critical aspect that is suitable for enhancing the quality management system in any hospital set-up. Through this, Salah et al. (2010) pointed out that the use of lean management theory will be necessary for detecting bottlenecks, and wastages in different laboratories processes. Hence, the system facilitates enabling of the management in a prompt practice for identification of processes and systems which ought to be improved by establishing more and realistic systems. This is however sourced from the different industries that the practice is identifiable.