Kuakini Health System created the idea of the Health Care Team Week Celebration to promote the health care team concept. The first annual Health Care Team Week Celebration was held in 1992 to recognize all the employees in the Health System. The employees were recognized for their contribution to the image of Kuakini and the quality of care they provide to the community.
Kuakini Health System continues to salutes its entire Health Care Team each year for providing professional and high-quality service and care to its patients, residents and clients. It is through the team effort and commitment of Kuakini's employees, physicians and community partners that Kuakini is able to continue its tradition of caring.
Kuakini realizes that the continued success of the Health System depends on the synergy and teamwork of the multi-talented and diverse staff under a total team approach. This is in concert with Kuakini's Core Values which identifies "teamwork" as one of the core values and Kuakini's efforts in implementing the Total Quality Management Philosophy whichbuilds on collaboration and working as a team.
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Total Quality Management Philosophy
In March 1995, Kuakini Health System adopted the Total Quality Management philosophy, a philosophy with customer service as its focus. Since its introduction, the philosophy has made its way into the daily operations at Kuakini.
Total Quality Management or TQM, is simply "a way to do business" through people, leadership, values and culture. It is the integration of quality and management concepts, tools and values into the culture and systems of an organization to achieve key business objectives through continuous improvement and total customer satisfaction.
One of the key components of implementing the TQM philosophy is the development of teams. The idea is to empower employees to work together with the goal to improve "the way Kuakini does business." In 1995, Kuakini started with nine employees who were recruited to serve as team leaders. After completing an intense training program, the team leaders were assigned to lead four teams to work on quality improvement topics. As of 1998, there have been 11 teams formed and 24 team leaders have been trained to actively implement the philosophy. Also, middle management have been trained to lead their departments and services in TQM.
TQM teams use a seven-step problem solving process.
• Identify the improvement opportunity
• Summarize the current situation
• Conduct a root cause analysis
• Create and test countermeasures
• Evaluate results
• Standardize the improvement process
• Determine "what's next?"
Kuakini's goal is to eventually involve all employees in TQM, either through participation on a team or involvement in other continuous improvement activities. TQM will become less structured at Kuakini as employees become more familiar with the process and are encouraged to solve problems and to look for ways to improve their operations by forming teams within departments and between departments.
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