Thursday, April 28, 2005

Implementing a quality management system (QMS) in a public health laboratory

Jean Joly and Johanne Lefebvre.

Considering its mandate to administer a provincial proficiency testing program for clinical laboratories and to inspect and recommend operation permit delivrance to private laboratories, LSPQ needed its activities to be recognized by an official accreditation body.

Obtain certification of all LSPQ activities according to ISO 9001:2000 international standard.

In 2001, the process was initiated with the appointment of a quality manager followed by the formation of a certification committee representative of all categories of employees. The services of a quality consultant were retained and eighten quality delegates were chosen among the personnel. The quality management system (QMS)was established through definition of a quality policy and its objectives, identification and review of processes, definition of documentation and records requirements, establishment of nonconformities control including corrective / preventive actions, implementation of internal audits including training of nine auditors selected amomg the employees, qualification of suppliers, a customer satisfaction measurement procedure, distribution of a services catalogue to customers and a comprehensive review of human resources policies (hiring, job description, training and qualification of personnel). These measures were undertaken in order to develop a QMS which controls and reviews its activities, that capitalizes on a well structured quality control and quality assurance system and that is focused on continuous quality improvement as measured by customer satisfaction.

With the involvment of all employees and a strong determination of management, LSPQ was certified according to ISO 9001:2000 standard for most of its activities in March 2004. The remaining activities are schedued for certification in March 2005.

LSPQ is the first Canadian public health laboratory to achieve ISO 9001:2000 certification. LSPQ now seeks additional accreditation for its laboratory activities according to ISO 15189:2003 and ISO 17025:1999 standards.

See more of Poster Session
See more of The 2005 Institute for Quality in Laboratory Medicine Conference