Total Quality Management and the Silent Patient

Business Ethics Quarterly 12 (4):481-504 (2002)
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Abstract

This essay examines the impact of the imposition of businesses techniques, in particular, those associated with Total QualityManagement, on the relationships of important components of the health care delivery system, including payers, managed care organizations, institutional and individual providers, enrollees, and patients. It examines structural anomalies within the delivery system and concludes that the use of Total Quality Management techniques within the health care system cannot prevent the shift of attention of other components away from the enrollee and the patient, and may even contribute to it. It speculates that the organization ethics process may serve as a quality control mechanism to prevent this shift and so help eliminate some of the ethically problematic processes and outcomes within the health care delivery system.

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