People, Not Processes, Drive Quality July 15, 2015
Typically, when we talk about quality, we’re referring to how something is made. A car, a pair of shoes, a meal—we evaluate these things based on their individual components as well as the sum of their parts, and we place a value on them. When we talk about value, we usually mean something’s perceived worth relative to its cost. What’s important to remember is that equipment, technology and processes don’t produce quality and hence value, people do.
Now, that might sound strange coming from a company that develops cutting-edge healthcare equipment, but we understand that our quality mobility solution exists only because of the people who helped make it possible. We took input from more than 150 nurses and clinicians during our design phase. These were people who cared deeply about finding a solution to an intransigent problem with a direct impact on patients’ lives as well as their own.
We also had the benefit of multiple beta-tests in hospitals and a comprehensive IRB study to inform and validate a completely new product unlike anything that was currently in use in a clinical setting. With thoughtful feedback from the caregivers and patients who participated, we were able to refine our design and improve both form and function, to produce something that, today, is instantly recognized as a quality product.
Our experience with the IVEA confirmed for us that quality springs from intent. It must first be desired, then created, then shared and then perceived. In healthcare this process has taken center stage as more emphasis is placed on the experiences and outcomes that matter most to patients. Not only does the patient’s assessment of provider quality carry more weight, it’s also become increasingly nuanced, encompassing evaluations of virtually every aspect of their experience.
Fortunately, the people, and especially the caregivers, responsible for shaping this perception are the most qualified to do so. With every decision and every interaction, they drive quality. Quality engenders value, and value drives loyalty—the lifeblood of any business.