ASQ To Administer Social Responsibility TAG

ASQ, with the support of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, will be the administrator for the technical advisory group (TAG) that is developing the International Organization for Standardi-zation (ISO) standard on social responsibility.

ISO says the TAG’s objective will be to produce a guidance document written in language those who are not quality or standards experts can understand and use. The guide will not be a specification document intended for conformity assessment.

The social responsibility standard is intended to add value to, not replace, existing intergovernmental agreements related to social responsibility, such as the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and those adopted by the International Labor Organization.

U.S. TAGs are committees accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for participation in ISO technical activities or appointed by ANSI’s United States National Committee for participation in International Electro-technical Commission activities. ASQ administers five TAGs.

Membership is open to all U.S. parties who indicate they are directly and materially affected by the TAG’s activity. Interested organizations and individuals should e-mail standards@asq.org for more details.


New Sampling Standard Builds on Old Military Document

A former military standard has become the basis for a new ASTM International standard.

E 2234, Practice for Sampling a Stream of Product by Attributes Indexed by AQL, will be the first in a series based on a now withdrawn set of military documents on sampling. The new standard is based on MIL-STD-105E, Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Attributes, which was withdrawn as an official military standard in 1995.

The development of E 2234 by ASTM’s committee E11 on quality and statistics is the beginning of a plan to reissue each of the set of withdrawn military documents as standards.


Marine Captain Receives Freund Scholarship

This year’s Freund International Scholarship has been awarded to Capt. Michael S. Lorence of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Lorence will use the scholarship funds when he pursues an MBA with a focus on quality management at Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia this fall. Lorence holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Military Institute.

ASQ administers the Freund scholarship, which is supported through a gift of $100,000 from the widow of Richard A. Freund, who had a 34-year career with Eastman Kodak Co. About $5,000 is awarded each year.

The scholarship is given to a student planning to enroll or already enrolled in a master’s degree or higher level program that has a concentration in quality engineering, total quality management, quality control, quality assurance, quality improvement or a similar emphasis.


QP To Survey Project Team Quality and Performance

Quality Progress is partnering with Guttman Development Strategies Inc., a consulting firm specializing in high performance team building, and Kepner-Tregoe Inc., a project management and critical thinking consulting and training provider, to conduct a survey of ASQ members and customers to determine how effectively organizations manage key projects.

The objectives of the study will be to:

  • Identify common project practices, processes and measures.
  • Identify those areas that hold the greatest potential for improving the performance of project teams.
  • Gain insight on the key factors separating successful from unsuccessful projects.

Survey results will enable organizations to compare their performance on projects to that of others and to develop improvement strategies with the greatest potential for success.

With so much work today getting done through projects, organizations seek to understand what factors distinguish best-in-class project performance, which is the impetus for the research.

The survey will be conducted this month via e-mail to members and customers who have opted to receive electronic communications from ASQ.

All who respond to the survey will receive an executive summary of the results, and a related article will appear in early 2006. Responses will be confidential.

The FACE of Quality

Name: Sister Mary Jean Ryan.

Residence: North St. Louis County, MO.

Education: Nursing diploma from St. Marys Hospital Medical Center in Madison, WI; bachelor’s degree in nursing from Saint Louis University; master’s degree in hospital and health administration from Xavier University, Cincinnati; has been a Franciscan Sister of Mary for more than 40 years.

Current position: President and CEO of SSM Health Care, which in 2002 became the first healthcare organization to receive a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award; has been with SSM for 19 years.

Introduction to quality: Heard a presentation on variation by Brent James, M.D., in 1989. The presentation, coupled with a conversation with another SSM executive about what they’d heard about the initial success of continuous quality improvement (CQI), led to a systemwide commitment to CQI in 1990.

ASQ activities: Author with William P. Thompson of CQI and the Renovation of an American Health Care System, which was published by ASQ Quality Press in 1997; a second book is in the works; presentations to ASQ sections in the United States and Canada.

Other activities: Serves on several national, state, local and healthcare boards, including the National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the United Way of Greater St. Louis and the Hawthorn Foundation of Missouri; chairperson for Taking Care/A Health Forum for Women Religious in Madison, WI; chairperson of SSM Health Care of Okla-homa, SSM Health Care of Wisconsin and SSM Health Care-St. Louis; president of SSM Health Care’s board of directors.

Honors and awards: Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award from the National Conference of Community and Justice; named one of 20 Distinguished Women of the St. Louis area; Missouri Governor’s Quality Leadership Award in 1997 and 2004; twice named one of Modern Healthcare magazine’s 100 most powerful people in healthcare.

Favorite ways to relax: Reading, old movies, simple woodworking and other craft projects.

Quality quote: As the first healthcare organization to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, SSM Health Care is living proof healthcare organizations can push themselves to step out of their comfort zones to achieve exceptional results with continuous quality improvement and the Baldrige criteria. And the more organizations that commit to quality improvement, the greater our ability to deliver healthcare breathtakingly better than it’s ever been done before. The people of this nation deserve no less.


Study Reveals Quality Organization Best Practices

A study of companies to reveal the best practices in organizing a quality function finds hybrid models to be the most effective structure to decrease consumer risk and avoid regulatory fines.

“Improving the Quality Function: Driving Organizational Impact & Efficiency,” was conducted by Best Practices LLC. It profiles 17 manufacturing and pharmaceutical organizations.

The study reveals companies in the top quartile for staffing level performance have fewer than 15 full-time quality employees per 1,000 companywide full-time employees, indicating quality functions don’t require huge staffs.

Among best practices are:

  • Risk management guidelines are driven by consumers and products.
  • Critical to quality measures are increasingly becoming an important link in driving quality and risk management guidelines.
  • The best companies implement a proactive rather than reactive approach to risk management, with tools and processes in place to ensure early identification and quick resolution of potential issues.
  • Companies that use at least three tools have 100% organizational model effectiveness in decreasing consumer risk and 93% effectiveness in avoiding regulatory fines and citations.

More information on the organizational structure study and names of companies profiled can be found at http://www3.best-in-class.com.


Q-100 Continues Positives In Challenging Market

As the above graphic shows, companies that practice a systemic approach to quality management deliver results.

“The market has been very flat for five of the last six quarters, and the Q-100 has outperformed the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 in four of those quarters,” says Craig Robinson, who started the Q-100 with colleague Mark Billeadeau. Both are now part of the total quality management strategy team at Kopp Investment Advisers, Edina, MN.

The Q-100 has returned 39.21% since its inception on Sept. 30, 1998, compared to 28.97% for the S&P 500. However, $1,000 invested 12 months ago would have returned 6.32% in the S&P 500 and 5.33% in the Q-100. For the quarter starting this April 1, the Q-100 hit 1.52% while the S&P increased 1.37%.


ANSI Standards Leadership Conference Nov. 9-10

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will hold a conference for leaders of the U.S. standardization community Nov. 9-10 in Phoenix.

The conference will deal with U.S. leadership in the International Organ-
ization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The goal will be collaborative development of strategies and tactics on issues impacting global standards setting.

A portion of the agenda will focus on the emergence of China as a significant player in the world economy and its role in ISO and IEC committees.

ANSI is encouraging U.S. officers of ISO and IEC technical committees and subcommittees, officers and administrators of technical advisory groups, and heads of delegations to ISO and IEC meetings to attend.

Early registration discounts are available until Sept. 30. For registration and other information, go to http://web.ansi.org or e-mail scornish@ansi.org.


JCAHO Says Hospitals Better in Some Areas

During the last two years, U.S. hospitals have significantly improved the care of patients suffering from heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia, according to a study by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

The study, “Quality of Care in U.S. Hospitals as Reflected by Standardized Measures, 2002-2004,” was published in the July 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study describes the use of 18 evidence based, standardized measures to track hospital performance over time and stimulate continuous improvement through quarterly feedback about results. JCAHO implemented standardized performance measures in July 2002.

These measures address giving aspirin to patients with acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) both within 24 hours of admission and at discharge and providing smoking cessation counseling for heart failure and pneumonia patients, among others.

Data were collected from more than 3,000 general acute care hospitals accredited by JCAHO. These hospitals represent a preponderance of the medical and surgical beds in the United States, and the three conditions studied are among the most common, high risk reasons for hospitalization.

The magnitude of improvement found in the study ranged from 3% to 33%, and improvement increased steadily over the two-year period. The most dramatic improvements were for the three measures related to smoking cessation efforts.

For more details about the report, go to http://www.jcaho.org.

ASQ News

E AND E CONFERENCE SEPT 19-20 The Energy and Environmental conference later this month will feature a keynote address by Mike Lynch of Louisiana Energy Services. The conference will be held Sept. 19-20 in San Antonio. ASQ’s Six Sigma Black Belt certification exam will precede the conference on Sept. 18, and four postconference workshops will be offered Sept. 21 and 22.

BIOMED CONFERENCE OCT. 27-28 The BiomedicaL Division’s Conference on the new basics of quality will be held Oct. 27 and 28 in Waltham, MA. For information, contact Pamela Goldstein at 781-372-2364 or pgoldstein@medispectra.com.

A CALL FOR PAPERS HAS BEEN ISSUED by the Healthcare Division for the World Confrence on Quality and Improvement May 1-3, 2006, in Milwaukee. Proposals should be submitted by this Sept. 22 and include a two- to three-page abstract, the type of forum, its length and the topic’s key objective. Submit proposals or questions to Douglas Dotan at ddotan@crgmedical.com.

Short Runs

AN ONLINE SIX SIGMA BLACK BELT CERTIFICATION program is being offered by Arizona State University and Monterrey Tech (ITESM) in Mexico. The online offering will complement ITESM’s existing master’s degree in quality and productivity systems. For more information, go to http://www.ruv.itesm.mx/portal/principal/qs/english.

TEXAS AWARD FOR PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE eligibility forms are due Sept. 15, and the application deadline is Nov. 1. For information, contact Quality Texas at 214-565-8550 or go to http://www.texas-qualilty.org.

W.E. DEMING’S ADVICE TO JAPAN in 1950 was listed as one of 20 decisions that made history in Fortune 75, a special 75th anniversary issue of the magazine. The article said Japan’s most influential corporate leaders listened “specifically to W. Edwards Deming, an obscure American statistician who had never met a payroll and had been to Japan only once before. Deming was nonetheless certain that he knew how to solve postwar Japan’s economic problems.”

A NEW METHOD TO IMPROVE THE ACCURACY of spectrometers has been developed by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The new method will benefit fields such as color measurement, lighting development, remote sensing, biotechnology and astronomy by correcting errors arising from the presence of stray light.

THE PATIENT SAFETY AND QUALITY IMPROVEMENT ACT got through the U.S. House of Represen-tatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee in mid-July. The act would create legal and confidentiality protections for patient safety information that providers share for educational purposes. Similar bills passed in the House and Senate last session but failed to make it to conference committee. The American Hospital Assn. says the latest bill contains language agreed to ahead of time, which should allow it to proceed through both the House and Senate quickly.

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR HEALTHCARE QUALITY is accepting abstract submissions for its 2006 annual conference through Sept. 30. The conference will be Sept. 17-20, 2006, in San Diego. For submission information, go to http://www.nahq.org/conference/2006/ abstracts.html.

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