American Journal of Economics and Business Administration

Assessment of Quality Management Practices Within the Healthcare Industry

William J. Miller, Andrew T. Sumner and Richard H. Deane

DOI : 10.3844/ajebasp.2009.105.113

American Journal of Economics and Business Administration

Volume 1, Issue 2

Pages 105-113


Problem Statement: Considerable effort has been devoted over the years by many organizations to adopt quality management practices, but few studies have assessed critical factors that affect quality practices in healthcare organizations. The problem addressed in this study was to assess the critical factors influencing the quality management practices in a single important industry (i.e., healthcare). Approach: A survey instrument was adapted from business quality literature and was sent to all hospitals in a large US Southeastern state. Valid responses were received from 147 of 189 hospitals yielding a 75.6% response rate. Factor analysis using principal component analysis with an orthogonal rotation was performed to assess 58 survey items designed to measure ten dimensions of hospital quality management practices. Results: Eight factors were shown to have a statistically significant effect on quality management practices and were classified into two groups: (1) four strategic factors (role of management leadership, role of the physician, customer focus, training resources investment) and (2) four operational factors (role of quality department, quality data/reporting, process management/training and employee relations). The results of this study showed that a valid and reliable instrument was developed and used to assess quality management practices in hospitals throughout a large US state. Conclusion: The implications of this study provided an understanding that management of quality required both a focus on longer-term strategic leadership, as well as day-to-day operational management. It was recommended that healthcare researchers and practitioners focus on the critical factors identified and employ this survey instrument to manage and better understand the nature of hospital quality management practices across wider geographical regions and over longer time periods. Furthermore, this study extended the scope of existing quality management literature to the healthcare industry throughout an entire state and contributed to theory about the nature of quality management practices.


© 2009 William J. Miller, Andrew T. Sumner and Richard H. Deane. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.