Michigan Quality System

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why are we implementing the Michigan Quality System (MQS)? What do we hope to achieve?

A. The Michigan Quality System (MQS) is part of our continuing effort to improve quality, safety, efficiency and appropriateness across our three missions of patient care, education and research within the U-M Health System. It combines the strength and success of our Continuous Quality Improvement Program (PDF) with new tools and techniques to provide a more robust approach to quality improvement.

Q. What does Michigan Quality System (MQS) offer that our Continuous Quality Program and our other efforts don't? How is it different?

A. The Michigan Quality System (MQS) folds in the Continuous Quality Improvement Program; it doesn't usurp it. The Michigan Quality System uses the incremental approach to improving quality offered through Total Quality principles and combines that with the rapid identification and reduction of waste that is the hallmark of the Toyota Production System. Once the waste is identified, it can be redirected to produce value. Lean Thinking uses many CQI tools, such as Plan-Do-Check-Act and root cause analysis.

Q. Is this an effort to cut people or costs? Will people lose their jobs?

A. No. The Michigan Quality System (MQS) is not an effort to cut people or costs (though costs often do decrease as a result of process improvements), or to make people work harder. Rather, it is an effort to make work flow smoother, and employees less stressed and more productive. The end goal is to bring more value to the customer.

People will not lose employment as a result of this effort, though changes in work will occur. Employees may not be always performing the same tasks in the same area if improvements in processes affect how and what type of work needs to be completed. They may be asked to take on a different role in another part of the institution.

Q. How were the initial projects chosen?

A. There were a number of important factors that went into selection of the initial projects. See the projects page for details.

Q. How can I suggest an idea for consideration?

A. E-mail or call Amy Perry or other members of the work team.

Q. Will all managers be trained at once?

A. No. We believe the best way to learn these methods is to learn lean by doing. Training people long before they will use the tools is less valuable. As other industries and health care entities have done, we will use "just in time" Training.

Rather than training all managers or all staff on the techniques, we will identify projects and focus training on only those people who will be involved in improving those areas.

 

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