Employees' perspectives on total quality management at Queen Elizabeth ll Hospital and The New Referral Hospital.
Total Quality Management (TQM) has become the focus of all organisations that strive for excellence in service delivery. The healthcare sector is not an exception though it is exclusively different from other organisations because of the nature of service they provide, and the kind of risk involved in service provision. The aim of this study was to assess employees’ perceptions about TQM at Queen Elizabeth II hospital, and their expectations regarding TQM implementation in the new Private Public Partnership (PPP) National Referral hospital. It also sought to measure the gap that exists between employees’ perceptions and expectations. It focused on three fundamental principles of Total Quality (TQ), namely ‘focus on customers and stakeholders’, ‘participation by everyone and teamwork’, as well as ‘process focus and continuous improvement’. This, quantitative research study, utilised a cross-sectional approach. The self-administered questionnaires were employed to obtain data. A stratified sample of 240 employees was drawn from Q.E.II hospital employees, which represented a population size of approximately 685 employees. Out of the sample size of 240, only 157 questionnaires were completed and returned. The respondents comprised of 38.2% males and 61.8% females. The highest percentage of the respondents (53.5%) was in the clinical category; 33.8% in Administration; 8.3% in ‘other’ health professionals such as pharmacy, laboratory, and radiology. The lowest percentages of 3.8% and 0.6% were in Accountancy and Human Resources categories respectively. The findings of this study revealed that employees have relatively low perceptions about TQM at Q.E.II hospital, while their expectations regarding TQM in the new PPP National referral hospital are extremely high. Process focus and continuous improvement attained a larger overall gap between perceptions and expectations. Although an analysis revealed that focus is needed in all areas that constitute total quality, but evidence suggests that process focus and continuous improvement need special attention. Thus, it is recommended that management creates a quality culture through strong leadership, putting the needs of both employees and patients in the fore-front, ensuring that employees understand hospital processes, and mostly, continuously improving the hospital processes.