Quality control in the health care in Japan--why CQI does not take root in Japan?Jpn Hosp. 1997 Jul; 16:11-23.JH
In the above, I have discussed the reasons why the Japanese hospitals failed to systematically improve health care quality from historical and cultural viewpoints with reference to the Japanese health care system. However, young physicians who are also the administrators of their own hospitals have become aware of the importance of the health care quality improvement and of the hospital management assessment by a third party, and they have been making positive efforts to solve the problems in their 30s who work at hospitals are also breaking the past image of conservative and stiff-necked doctor. Though there still remains much to be improved, the idea of informed consent is gradually taking root. The number of patients who insist on "the rights of patient" and "the right to make own decision" is on the increase. The system to have a third party assess the hospital administration is also under way. Under such circumstances, the leadership taken by physician, cooperation between various specialists as a team and the management capability of clerical staff are expected to play important role in the continuous quality improvement activities participated by the whole personnel of hospitals. Japanese industries are famous for their abundant experience and know-how of the management. If the health care industry will seriously tackle with quality improvement through good team work by participation of all the staff without any boundary between the jobs, the Japanese health care level is expected to improve and to satisfy the patients. In the past, boundary between the jobs also existed in Japanese corporations, but this obstacle was removed by taking the customer-oriented stance. It has now become obligatory in the factories to check the product whether it satisfies customers or not in final stage of manufacturing. There is no reason why hospitals cannot learn from these examples. It is now necessary for specialist organizations including hospital associations and Japan Medical Association to seriously address themselves to the task of continuous improvement of health care quality. Strange to say, there is no organization for secretary-generals of hospitals in Japan, but improvement of the quality and position of clerical staff is another key to raising the quality of health care. By raising the level of clerical staff, we may avoid such criticism as "Japan's medcine is first grade but health care is third grade".