Revised Q-100 Continues To Outperform S&P 500

The Q-100 outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 for the third quarter of 2002, losing slightly less than the benchmark. Since the inception of the quality related index on Sept. 30, 1998, the S&P 500 has lost more than twice as much as the Q-100: 15.53% for the S&P compared to 7.46% for the Q-100.

"The Q-100 continues to demonstrate that quality companies lose less in an economic downturn," said Craig Robinson, president of Robinson Capital Management (RCM), the Minnesota money management firm that created the index.

The third quarter results reflect an extensive revision in the list of companies on the Q-100, with 35 new companies added and 30 companies dropped from the list. RCM rescores the index annually at the end of the second quarter to account for changes in quality indicator data. Two primary factors accounted for the most recent revision:

  1. The benchmark changed. Standard & Poor's and Morgan Stanley Capital International jointly launched the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) to provide one complete, consistent set of global sector and industry definitions. GICS is comprised of 10 sectors, 23 industry groups, 59 industries and 123 subindustries. RCM made changes to the Q-100 to keep it aligned with the GICS, enabling it to achieve a 98% correlation with the S&P 500.

  2. The scoring changed. As part of its ongoing improvement process, RCM moved from one key measure of financial performance--market capitalization--to nine measures, six of which directly relate to how efficiently a company is run. RCM uses this diversified set of financial measures to evaluate each company's business results, which account for nearly half of a company's quality score.

These changes produced new scores for all 500 companies in the S&P index and major revisions in the Q-100. For example, Ford and General Motors were both in the Q-100 until the third quarter, when Ford was replaced with an automotive parts manufacturer, making the Q-100 more representative of the S&P 500 automotive industry group. RCM chose General Motors over Ford because it had a slightly higher composite score, primarily because of its operating results being ahead of Ford's.

"We want people to understand that not being included in the Q-100 is no reflection on whether a company is pursuing quality," said Mark Billeadeau, RCM's chief investment officer. "To make the Q-100 more representative of the S&P 500, adjust it based on our financial scoring and keep the index around 100 companies, we had to exclude great quality companies like Eaton, Cummins and Dana."

For an explanation of how the Q-100 was developed, see Invest in the Best, by Stephen George (John Wiley & Sons, 2000) or the Quality Progress article "Bull or Bear?" (April 2002, p. 32). Questions about the Q-100 can be directed to Craig Robinson at 800-577-9217.


Patient Safety Foundation Reports on Ambulatory Surgery

The National Patient Safety Foundation has released the Phase I Final Report related to its ambulatory surgery in the office setting initiative.

The initiative's goal is to ensure patients in office settings receive the same quality of care as those in a hospital or ambulatory surgery center setting. The report outlines the results of a workshop held in June to identify challenges and actions to address them.

Three high level goals that had almost unanimous agreement of workshop participants are:

  1. Promote accreditation.

  2. Develop national standards for nonhospital credentialing and privileging.

  3. Develop and disseminate educational tools for office based surgery.

The next two phases will involve collaboration and action through creating a multidisciplinary task force, conducting data evaluation, fostering patient education and promoting professional education.

Thirty organizations are supporting or participating in the ambulatory surgery project. For additional information, go to www.npsf.org.


TOT035MDisease Management Programs To Include Safety Strategies

URAC and Advance PCS have announced a collaboration to identify approaches to improve patient safety through disease management programs.

Funded by a grant from Advance PCS, a provider of health improvement services, URAC will publish innovative and effective practices from the disease management industry on its website and distribute the practices  to employers, health plan purchasers and other organizations.

Examples of strategies will include medication assessment and monitoring, treatment guidelines for the chronically ill, environmental safety assessments and sentinel event tracking and feedback.

URAC is an accreditor of health and managed care organizations.


NIST To Fund Metal Fatigue Study

Caterpillar Inc., Motorola Inc. and Colorado based Native American Technologies will co-develop a metal fatigue study, "Structural Health Integrated Electronic Life Determination," through a grant administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The project will develop wireless sensor technology to enable high speed computing and software analysis of the real-time impact of potential metal fatigue in large fabricated structures.

Data collected from the sensors could reduce the cost of manufacturing large machines, aircraft, ships, buildings and bridges by showing fewer metals are needed than required by today's design standards, according to NIST.

Other news from NIST includes an announcement of new legislation giving the institute authority to investigate major U.S. building failures, specifically as it applies to the NIST World Trade Center building and fire safety investigation.


IW Best Plants Report Shows What Works

014HB_01IndustryWeek (IW) magazine says its best plants report, compiled from its 2001 census of manufacturers, proves initiatives such as lean manufacturing can have a huge impact on performance.

A greater proportion of the finalists than those from the past five years have adopted a continuous flow production strategy, pull systems and a cellular work structure, according to IW. "These plants also invest significantly more effort, but not more dollars, in employee training."

IW questions manufacturers on management practices, including workflow, training, quality and IT implementation. The quality category revealed the following:

  • Six Sigma--31.6% of all plants surveyed, 47% of those considered world-class and 36.9% of those rated best plants had some or extensive Six Sigma implementation.

  • ISO 9000:1994--50.8% of all plants surveyed, 70.5% of those considered world-class and 80% of those rated best plants were certified.

  • ISO 14000--5.2% of all plants surveyed, 11.6% of those considered world-class and 22.7% of those rated best plants were certified.

For more details on the IndustryWeek best plants report, visit www.industryweek.com.


IMPACT MEMBERSHIP: A total of 82 healthcare organizations have joined Impact, an international network to improve the quality of healthcare, since its launch in May. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement is providing leadership for Impact, which is working in five areas: patient safety, office practice and outpatient settings, flow through acute care settings, intensive care settings and workforce development.

NGA AND HOMELAND SECURITY: The National Governors Association's (NGA) Center for Best Practices has released its Governor's Guide to Emergency Management Volume II: Homeland Security.

IMPROVING ICU QUALITY: "Care in the ICU: Teaming Up To Improve Quality" is a report on efforts to improve the quality of intensive care through the implementation of best practices. The report was sponsored by the National Coalition on Health Care and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, with funding from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The report is available at www.nchc.org or by calling 202-638-7151.

CROSBY ARCHIVES: Materials of the late quality guru Philip B. Crosby, including notes, photos, manuscripts and articles, have been placed in the Winter Park (FL) Public Library by Philip Crosby Associates II.

BEST OF WEB: Powerway Inc., a privately held technology provider, was named one of Forbes magazine's "best of the web" companies for 2002, for its promise in business-to-business activities. For a complete listing, visit www.forbes.com/bow.

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