The command's Risk Management Plan is in accordance with Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) guidelines. Risk Management means loss prevention, preventing harm, and decreasing the risk of liability to staff and facility. Improving quality of care, improving patient satisfaction and patient outcomes have a direct effect on reducing risks and, conversely, reducing risk has a direct effect on patient outcomes. A proactive, systematic, command-wide approach to identify, analyze, report and correct adverse, or potentially adverse events is followed. The credentials division analyzes and evaluates the effectiveness of the program in meeting established goals and objectives. It is the primary interface between directors, department heads, professional staff, and Professional Affairs Coordinators at other commands, higher echelons, and professionals at civilian, state, and federal agencies. It prepares and presents comprehensive orientation training to support staff and health care providers. Finally, the Infection Control Division is responsible for the surveillance, prevention, and control of infection function by identifying and reducing the risks of acquiring and transmitting infections among patients, employees, physicians and other licensed independent practitioners, contract service workers, volunteers, students, and visitors.
COMPARISON WITH A MODEL FACILITY
An ideal healthcare facility with continuous quality improvement program follows the principles of CQI. It meets the needs of those being served, the patients in this case. The risk management division of the naval healthcare facility focuses on "risk reduction by improving patient satisfaction and patient outcomes". Thus, the satisfaction of the patient needs and expectations implies a well directed effort to CQI. Another aspect of an ideal healthcare facility will be working as a team. Here again, the naval hospital is seen to have a well organized team for quality management with sub-divisions to carry out different functions of quality improvement, like, performance improvement, risk management etc. Also, the provision of a credentials division allows for "use of data and measurement tools is key to improving processes and outcomes". Above all, the commitment to quality principles and practices by the management can be understood from the fact that the naval healthcare facility has a separate department devoted to quality improvement. All the aforementioned points authenticate the fact that the healthcare facility meets the recognized standard for CQI.
Achieving total quality and having continuous quality improvement in the healthcare facility only result in the improvement in patient care. In order to improve patient care, the facility must not stop with reaching a particular target in quality but there must be a continuous adherence to the TQM principles. The plan-do-study-act cycle of CQI must continue with revised plans after every action is taken.
ADHERENCE TO TQM PRINCIPLES