Costs of Quality

When a process fails to satisfy a customer, the failure is considered a defect. For example, according to the California Academy of Family Physicians, defects for the processes in a doctor’s practice are defined as “anything that happened in my office that should not have happened, and that I absolutely do not want to happen again.” Obviously, this definition covers process failures that the patient sees, such as poor communication and errors in prescription dosages. It also includes failures the patient does not see, such as incorrect charting.

Closely tied to the notion of defects is the question of determining how much quality is enough. There is a greater ...

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