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Total Quality Management and Public Health Laboratories

TQM is empowerment and includes everybody.

TQM is empowerment and includes everybody!

The notion of Total Quality Management is still relatively new to health care workers in less developed countries. However, it might prove to be an effective tool in improving the quality of services.

TQM requires systematic and nationwide efforts, to transform the group of laboratory personnel into a productive and efficient team.

Supporting the forming of professional groups could prove beneficial.  The idea that well organised professional groups can exert considerable pressure on policy makers is not nurtured, and sometimes even unwelcome.

Establish effective channels of communication.  Team identity is strongest when, like in a sports team, all members know the common goal and are clear about how to achieve it. 

For example, monthly or quarterly newsletters are a good medium to generate a sense of belonging among employees.  Such newsletters can be used to highlight problems, commend good performance, enhance training efforts or introduce new test methods.

Cross-functional team meetings help to brake down barriers between departments and are a good channel of informing other health professionals about service improvements.

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The Public Health Care Laboratory - 2001 Gabriele Mallapaty