CEO SUMMARY: Henry Ford Health System’s laboratory organization has become first in the nation to have all its laboratory sites “standardized under one source of leadership” and accredited to the standards of ISO 15189: Medical Laboratories. The journey to achieve this current state has taken almost 10 years and started with the development of a
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A quality management system (QMS), as required by ISO 15189:2012, is a compilation of organizational documents that establishes the policies and procedures needed to direct and control an organization with regard to quality. It relates to general management activities, the provision and management of resources, the pre‐examination, examination and post‐examination processes and evaluation and continual improvement.
A QMS captures the requirements of an organization and structurally provides a roadmap that explains who, what, when, where and how sustainable and repeatable outcomes will be achieved.
A quality management system consists of policies, procedures, SOPs and records, all of which provide proof of goals, assign responsibility, describe how those responsibilities are be performed and provide evidence of past accounts or occurrences of compliance.
It is a system by which an organization aims to reduce and eventually eliminate nonconformance to specifications, standards, and customer expectations in the most cost effective and efficient manner.
Use of quality management systems by innovative clinical laboratories and pathology groups enables them to drive impressive gains in quality, customer satisfaction, and financial performance. This is a key development at a time when medical laboratory budgets are shrinking and more cuts in lab test prices are expected.
On all fronts of laboratory medicine, requirements are becoming more stringent. Each year, labs find themselves held to higher standards for compliance with both Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) requirements and Medicare accreditation guidelines. This situation will become further complicated as clinical labs face the need to also meet the requirements of accountable care organizations (ACOs) and similar models of integrated clinical care. Early adopters are responding to these marketplace dynamics by making strategic use of a QMS to boost the performance of their clinical laboratory organizations. As they do, they often gain a competitive advantage.