17 Organizations Certified To TL 9000 in Pilot Program

Seventeen organizations representing 12 companies were certified to the TL 9000 telecommunications quality management requirements following a recent pilot process, according to the QuEST Forum, which manages the program. The standard is a derivative of the ISO 9000 quality management standard.

The companies are Adtran Inc., Fujitsu Network Communications Inc., Lucent Technologies, Marconi Communications, Motorola, NEC America Inc., Nortel Networks, Pirelli Cables and Systems, SBC Opera-tions Inc., Siecor LLC, Siecor-TCP and Tellabs Operations Inc.

Five Nortel divisions were certified. They are in Morrisville and Research Triangle Park, NC; Mississauga and Nepean, Ontario; and Laurent, Quebec.

In addition, seven qualified registrars were named: British Standards Institution Inc., KEMA Registered Quality, Lloyd's Registered Quality Assurance, the National Standards Authority of Ireland, the Quality Management Institute, Telcordia Quality Registration and Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

There are currently agreements with two certification bodies: the U.S. Registrar Accreditation Board and the Standards Council of Canada. Plans are in place to expand the program to other International Accredi tation Forum Multilateral Agreement signatories.

Krish Prabhu, chief operating officer of Alcatel Telecom is the 2000 chair of the QuEST Forum, and George Via, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Bell Atlantic Network Data Inc. is vice chairman.

Best Practices Study Links Six Sigma, Financial Performance

Best Practices LLC, a research and consulting firm, recently updated its report on "Building Six Sigma Excellence: A Case Study of General Electric."

The study reexamines several best practices in Six Sigma implementation and the financial results of the program at GE and other companies. It emphasizes three Six Sigma practices that appear to have an impact on financial performance:

  • Alignment of employee performance measurement with quality improvement success.

  • Making internal Six Sigma results visible to customers.

  • The driving of quality program development and implementation by senior management.

Additional information on the study can be found at www.benchmarkingreports.com

ANSI Releases New Global Action Report

The American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) recently published "Global Action Report" explains U.S. initiatives in the global standards and conformity assessment arena.

Included in the publication are such topics as trends, new policies and procedures, and the current state of U.S. involvement and influence on international and regional standardization and conformity assessment activities. Examples of successful U.S. influence on various industry sectors are reviewed.

The report is available at no charge from the ANSI online reference library at http://web.ansi.org. Hard copies can be obtained from Global Engineering Documents at 800-854-7179, 303-397-7956 or global@his.com

ansizumboISO Updates ISO 9000:2000 Transition Guidelines

The International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO, issued updated advice on making the transition to the year 2000 revision of ISO 9000, due for publication by the end of the year.

The guidance reflects the latest Draft International Standard and up-dates answers to frequently asked questions. The materials were developed through collaboration with rep resentatives of certification bodies, including the International Accreditation Forum.

The transition guidelines are available on the ISO Web site at www. iso.ch or at the site of ISO Technical Committee 176, Subcommittee 2 at www.bsi.org.uk/iso-tc176-sc2.


Nebraska Hospital Group Starts Quality Monitoring System on Internet

The Nebraska Association of Hospitals and Health Systems and Mecon Inc. announced a Web project to provide clinical benchmarks and analytical software to assist management efforts to reduce costs and improve quality.

Mecon is a provider of Web based benchmarking data and cost management tools for health care delivery systems. The clinical benchmarks and Dynamo software combine to create a data mining tool to provide outcomes analyses and quality improvement benchmarks.

The data will be accessed through password protected, secure user nodes. Using standard or custom clinical indicators, it will be possible to drill down to patient level data to analyze differences in utilization of services, assess complications and cost of care, and to profile physician activity.

A clinical outcomes measurement system for use by member hospitals will be developed. For more information, visit www.nahhsnet.org

NIST System Links to State Weights and Measures Labs

MEASUREnet, a new effort from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is designed to support training and collaborative work between NIST and state weights and measures laboratories.

NIST says state laboratories provide more than 340,000 calibrations to nearly 20,000 customers each year, and 90% of the calibrations are for mass measurements. MEASUREnet is designed to strengthen the way NIST's calibration procedures are transferred to state, regional and local labs.

MEASUREnet will allow video conferences and real time technical assistance as measurements are monitored via video cameras. NIST already has completed MEASUREnet training for staff from 10 states.

Optical fiber measurements

In other news from NIST, the agency has prepared two papers on optical fiber measurements. One paper (No. 03-00) explains the variety of artifact standards offered for optical fibers. The second (No. 55-99) explains NIST's calibration of optical fiber power meter measurement services and traceability to primary standards. Both papers can be obtained by calling Sarabeth Harris at 303-497-3237.


The July 1999 issue of Hospitals and Health Networks says professional mystery patients are now being hired to go through the inpatient care process. Typical mystery patients complain about nonspecific gastrointestinal or chest pain and remain three to five days. Input is said to have already led to changes and improvement in patient experiences at some facilities.


A Cato Institute study says independent review of federally funded research is crucial both for good science and good public policy. Public law 105-277, known as the Shelby Amendment and enacted by Congress in 1998, guarantees public access to grantee collected data use in support of rules or regulations. For information, visit www.cato.org


The International Electrotechnical Commission Conformity Assessment Board has submitted a proposal to develop process management systems and equipment used in avionics, including electronics used in commercial, civil and military aerospace applications.


Arthur Andersen, the professional services consulting organization, and Oliver Wight Americas, a business education and consulting firm, recently introduced Manufacturing Interactive, an interactive computer-based multimedia training program to help people learn about manufacturing environments. For information, call 800-872-2454 or 941-373-2020.


At the recent Quality New Jersey Annual Conference, Norman L. Naidish, president of Vision Management, stated that American businesses literally throw away one day's worth of production every week because of poor quality. He defines the cost of poor quality as the expenses associated with inspections, rework, mistakes, field and factory repairs, substandard materials, and returns--anything that prevents total satisfaction with a final sale.

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