Challenges to Institutionalizing Sustainable Total Quality Management Programs in Healthcare Systems of Post-Soviet Countries
PATRICIA A. COLEWKA
IJED, Vol. 3 No. 3, (2001)
Critical changes are occurring on a worldwide basis in the organization, financing, and delivery of healthcare services. A little over a decade after declaring their independence, the nations of the former Soviet Union continue to restructure their political and socioeconomic infrastructures as they move from centrally-planned to market-driven economies. In order to do this within social transition efforts, healthcare program managers realize the need to utilize more effective management methods if social services are to continue to be provided. Organization management concepts developed and used in the countries of the West, that is, the United States and the European Union are being sought for incorporation into these evolving administrative systems. Demands by practitioners and patients for advanced technology and improved healthcare services, as well as economic restraints imposed by their governments and external investors, are driving this economic sector’s transformation. Economic impact studies performed by global organizations have recommended that management programs be developed for these countries at the microeconomic (organizational) level using Total Quality Management concepts. This is because, for sustainable development, the structuring and functioning of their institutions must be reformed, strengthened, and stabilized using more democratic means. In other words, implementation of decentralized, cost-effective, market-oriented management policies and practices by these nations is a crucial determinant for their continuing integration into the global community.