Quality, Innovation, and Differentiation (QID) and Total Healthcare Relationship Model (THRM)

Quality, Innovation, and Differentiation (QID) and Total Healthcare Relationship Model (THRM)

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4091-5.ch003
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Abstract

During the last two decades, the privatisation, deregulation, internationalisation and globalisation of healthcare sectors, healthcare organisations have found the need to innovate new devices and patient treatment tools to cure illnesses and improve life quality of people. These trends place quality of healthcare services, innovation and differentiation (QID) at the heart of the healthcare organisation´s sustainable patient safety strategies. It should be recognised that health improvement through Quality, Innovation and Differentiation is not a one-time event. Improved technological innovation and quality are complementary, thus we argue in this chapter that QID are the triple engines of achieving the ultimate goal of reducing medical errors and assuring patient safety. The purpose of this chapter is to advance the understanding of the triangle relationship between QID to improve strategies available to healthcare organisations. This chapter also highlights how these approaches, i.e. QID and THRM can integrate and add impetus to successful healthcare strategies.
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Introduction

There is an endless demand in modern healthcare for technologies to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of health problems. To meet this demand, there should be a specific focus on ICT, health and biomedical engineering research and innovations. This chapter is devoted entirely to this socially vital area. Innovations in, for example, biomedical engineers improve human health by cross-disciplinary activities that integrate the engineering sciences with the biomedical sciences and clinical practice.

During the last two decades, the privatisation, deregulation, internationalisation and globalisation of healthcare and education sectors, healthcare organisations (HOs) have found that they need to continue innovate new devices and patient treatment tools to cure illnesses and improve life quality of people. These trends place quality of healthcare services, innovation and differentiation (QID) at the heart of the healthcare organisation’s sustainable patient safety strategies, as constant adaptation in a turbulent environment requires a continuous flow of new and innovative offers.

Although the increasing importance of the service sector in world economies, not enough research has been carried out in the field of innovation and new service development. Information and communication technology (ICT) provides excellent tools for innovation and differentiation of the needed healthcare services. With the shift from manufacturing era to services era, the issue of new service development and innovation (SDI) has grown in importance.

However, in the past the use of innovation and quality has been limited to developing new products or services or creating improvements in old ones. The 21st century can be briefly described as follows: the first half of the century was populated with incredibly bad management served by technology and invention and the second half was much the same except that management was able to overcome the advantages of technology in many cases to produce low growth and erratic quality (Liu and Kleiner, 2001).

More than ever before it should be recognised that health improvement through Quality, Innovation and Differentiation, QID, is not a one-time event. The healthcare organisation (HO) must seek to stay out of the rut, i.e. innovate concurrently. The concurrent nature of this “QID imperative” is a key driver in the pursuit of new synergies and advantages for the benefit of the patients because healthcare sector decision makers and managers must do more than develop, implement or approve innovations, they must serve as architects of the innovation imperative. Consequently, such actors are compelled to help the HO to develop the necessary skills that precede innovation.

As shown in Figure 1, organisations such as healthcare sitting have to differentiate, renew or improve their healthcare management strategies and activities to innovate new e-health services in order to improve the healthcare quality, reduce medical errors and increase patient’s safety. As we will see later, Zineldin’s total relationship management approach, TRM, is a golden opportunity to lead current and future total quality efforts. TRM can act as the driving force in achieving the primary objectives of total quality: quality, innovation, differentiation, efficiency, patient centrism and effectiveness (Zineldin, 2012; Liu and Kleiner, 2001).

Figure 1.

The Triangle QID Model

Although there is a lot of research on new service development (NSD) as a major competitive factor for the healthcare industry (Johnson et al., 2000; Fitzsimmons and Fitzsimmons, 2001), research on the relationship between service quality, innovation and differentiation (QID) remains fragmented and much less developed than on new product development (NPD). Menor et al. (2002) concludes that significant effort is required to clarify the existing works, which are scarce and scattered.

A study by Fitzgerald et al. (2003) shows that there is evidence that the implementation of healthcare innovation had some impact on clinical behaviour, particularly how clinical professionals judge credible evidence and take decisions. On the other hand, some questions about the implementation of clinical governance and quality improvements should be raised up.

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