Author: Chris Woodgate, ISAS Officer
Digging for gold is laborious but when you find a nugget it can make it all worthwhile. This month I have been ‘digging’ for quality quotes (have not one original thought myself); but not just quality quotes rather quotes about quality. My thanks go to Jennifer Stepniowski ([email protected]), who has ‘dug out’ these quotes which will hopefully inspire and motivate the commentary is mine so don’t blame Jennifer! I certainly found them interesting & some thought provoking.
1)"Quality is not an act. It is a habit." – Aristotle
A habit can be considered as no more than a repetitive action, where eventually you don’t have to to even think about it it you just do it. Sounds like a manager ‘nirvana’ to me; you don’t have to worry that staff are doing the ‘right thing, at the right time, with the right patient’ they will do it out of habit. However we know that is not always the case for example if the SOP doesn’t get the result quick enough or someone has a ‘better’ idea our quality habit can be derailed. Balancing the short-term objective with the long-term is certainly no easy task, but good habits are worth forming.
2)"Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives" - William A. Foster
A profound statement and who wouldn’t want to be associated with it? As a manager it would be great to see your service as the wise choice of many alternatives. To be the service that gets the board support, the funding, and the plaudits. Ah, to dream! Is it possible? Yes, in some circumstances I think so. With good Quality Management, the sincere effort of your team, skilful execution of all professionals, and your leadership why not? I wish I had known about this quote when leading some of the teams I have I think they could have resonated with this and risen to the challenge it sets.
3)"Quality is doing the right thing when no one is looking." - Henry Ford.
Ford knew that quality was the key to making everything work and he knew that he had to instil that thinking into everyone contributing within the organization. Across your service everyone must feel ownership and overall accountability for patient safety and effective service provision. Doing the right thing when no is looking comes from being part of a service that instils quality into the fabric of its culture; a culture where people understand their significance to the overall provision of the service. Working together and being accountable to something larger (excellent patient care) is a strong motivator. It works well when quality is led modality by modality to the end of making the best overall service provision; working to the ‘larger’ goal.
4)"Don't find fault, find a remedy." - Henry Ford
Ford’s meaning is that it's likely going to take considerably less time and resources to focus on the remedy rather than taking the time to find fault. How many of us as managers love the person that comes with a problem and the solution to it? They were my favourite people! If you have a good quality management system and a team who are innovative etc. then I would expect solutions. I am sure it works for you too when you approach your senior managers with business cases etc. if you provide the solutions to the perceived issues they will welcome you with open arms.
5)"Quality is everyone's responsibility." - W. Edwards Deming
Is QA solely the responsibility of the QA Lead, QA team or whatever person or small group of people who identify themselves directly and officially where management is concerned? I believe you can't "assure" quality i.e. be assured rather than reassured that everything is done as you expect it to be until everyone is on board. True quality is that which is assured, in a perfect world of course. The key is engaging all members of the team finding what motivates them to be the quality advocate, to be the innovator, or the solution finder to your issues.
6)"Quality is free. It's not a gift, but it's free. The 'unquality' things are what cost money." - Philip B. Crosby
Nope I don’t think so, Quality costs ; whether in time or finance it costs a service. The decision is – is it worth the cost? Providing quality is an added value (for those who like LEAN thinking) and if used to promote efficiencies can result in saving in time or finance. As for "unquality things," I would rather say inequality; where the patient experience is compromised depending on who you are or the staff experience is compromised depending on the support the service has compared to others. How many times have you had to answer complaints or grievances which could have been more easily dealt with if your quality assurance was better than it is now? The cost of losing a compensation claim or an employment tribunal is usually far less than the costs of accreditation, a robust quality management system delivering the Imaging standard could save you time and finance in the long term.
If this inspires you then I ask WHY not do something about it?