Green Buildings on the Rise

The green building movement is making serious progress, according to a story in the January/February issue of E—The Environmental Magazine. Today, 5% of new commercial construction meets standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, a voluntary, consensus based standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.

Ten percent of new homes satisfy the federal government’s Energy Star guidelines, meaning they’re nearly one-third more energy efficient than regulations require.

A number of cities around the country, including San Francisco, Boston, Seattle and Scottsdale, AZ, are passing laws that require new public buildings be green. So far, 54 cities and 23 federal agencies have adopted LEED standards for buildings.

According to the article, critics question whether efficiency standards, when applied, can be objectively proven to deliver desired results—such as lower electric bills.

Others see the standard as a step in the right direction.

“The new green building movement arises from the realization that we can’t go on living as we have in the past, that treating the environment in general and energy in particular as afterthoughts no longer makes sense,” environmentalist Bill McKibben told the magazine. “They’re sensible, cost-effective, obvious [measures].”

For the complete story, go to www.emagazine.com.


U.S. Automakers Aim to Standardize Parts

Taking a cue from Toyota and Honda, U.S. automakers are working toward standardizing parts to increase manufacturing efficiency.

The lack of common parts is one reason Ford, General Motors (GM) and Chrysler made an average of $2,400 less per vehicle in 2005 than their Japanese competitors, according to a study released late last year by the Harbour-Felax Group, a Michigan consulting company.

Of the Big Three, GM is ahead in the race to base more of its models on common architecture, Harbour-Felax reported. Ford is the furthest behind, but the study said it, too, is working to standardize its car parts and manufacturing.

GM now builds two small sport utility vehicles, the Saturn Vue and Chevrolet Equinox, with standardized parts in factories across the globe, and later this year will debut a globally designed and manufactured mid-size car.

As an example of the Big Three’s lack of common parts, Ford, Chrysler and GM manufacture dozens of different firewalls, the slab of steel between the driver and the car’s engine. Toyota makes only a few, and the only difference among them is their width. All the holes for wires and ducts are in the same place on each, so a worker at any plant worldwide can install one in almost any Toyota model because they fit together the same way.

This standardization makes Toyota and Honda more efficient, but there are drawbacks, says Jim Queen, VP of global engineering at GM. Tight manufacturing and commonality rules can limit design creativity.

“Our rules tend to be a little looser than others to be more creative,” Queen says.

The other downside, Queen says, is that thousands of the same part going into multiple cars increases the effect of recalls on the manufacturer and the consumer.

“If you ever [make a mistake], you have a big number of parts out there,” he says.


New Baldrige Criteria Show Significant Revisions

The 2007 Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence includes significant revisions to the 2006 criteria. All changes are listed and explained on pp. 8-9 of the criteria.

According to p. 8, “The most significant revisions to the 2007 Criteria address four areas of growing importance: (1) strategic advantages and core competencies, (2) innovation, (3) work systems for producing your business results, and (4) workforce engagement, workforce capability and workforce capacity.”

Harry Hertz, director of the Baldrige National Quality Program, says of the revisions, “We believe in continuous improvement, and we saw some real opportunities in the environment around us to improve the way organizations measure themselves.”

Copies of the criteria are free and available at http:// baldrige.nist.gov/Business_Criteria.htm (case sensitive). Those interested can request a hard copy or download a PDF.


AIAG and Medical Group Start Michigan Quality Initiative

The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) and the Michigan Medical Group Management Assn. (MMGMA) have announced a joint program to help medical offices in Michigan improve quality and operational efficiencies.

MMGMA is an association of medical practices. With its training partner, Omnex, AIAG will work with five medical offices to identify areas for improvement. AIAG and Omnex will then help the offices create robust quality programs by applying quality management system methodologies, problem solving techniques, lean management and Six Sigma.

For more information about this program, go to www.aiag.org/press/releases/GENERAL/PR_AIAGMMGMA_final.pdf (case sensitive).

Who's Who In Q

Name: Rosemarie Christopher

Residence: Los Angeles

Education: Master’s degree in communications management from the University of Southern California.

Current job: President and CEO of Med Exec International, a placement firm that matches quality assurance and regulatory compliance professionals with medical device and pharmaceutical companies

Introduction to quality: A Fund-raiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. She says of this job, “The hospital functioned at such a high level of excellence that you could say it was my first introduction to professionals who did the job right the first time and every time thereafter.”

ASQ activities: Senior member; secretary of the Food, Drug and Cosmetics (FD&C) Division; co-chair of the FD&C Division, Southern California; deputy regional director, membership (region 7); vice chair of the Biomedical Division, Southern California

Other activities: Member of the board of directors of the Orange County Regulatory Affairs Discussion Group, an association that serves the pharmaceutical, life science and biotechnology industries; also a member of the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society, Drug Information Assn. and the Assn. of Clinical Research Professionals

Recent honor: Won ASQ’s Shirl Furger Service Leadership Award in 2006 for her efforts in the FD&C Division to set up a national network of discussion groups

Personal: Married

Favorite ways to relax: Reading historical novels; reading about a variety of fiction and nonfiction topics; studying linguistic archaeology, specifically the hieroglyphs of Ancient Egypt; Sudoku puzzle solving

Quality quote: To deliver exceptional results in any endeavor, one must be completely committed to quality in every aspect of one’s life. In the executive search business, we identify “top performer” talent. The résumés of top performers clearly outline a pattern of commitment to quality in every area: work, education and professional association memberships.


Certification Dates, Deadlines

Exams for all 14 ASQ certifications will be offered April 29 in Orlando, FL, one day before ASQ’s World Conference on Quality and Improvement begins. Anyone taking the Six Sigma Black Belt (SSBB) exam must apply by March 16.

Registration for the other exams will be available on site, although seating is limited. Registration by March 16 guarantees a seat. Register online at www.asq.org/certification/apply.html.

On April 26-27, the Audit Division will sponsor a refresher course in Orlando to help auditors prepare for the certified quality auditor exam. The fee is $595. Participants receive a copy of The ASQ Auditing Handbook, third edition, and 1.5 continuing education units. For more information, call Wendy Finnerty at 973-568-7446. To register, call ASQ at 800-248-1946.

The application deadline for exams on June 2 is April 6.

The deadline to submit recertification journals for the following certifications is June 30: quality auditor, quality engineer, reliability engineer, software quality engineer, manager of quality/organizational excellence, SSBB, calibration technician, HACCP auditor and biomedical auditor. Journals should be submitted to section recertification chairs.

Short Runs

THE BALDRIGE NATIONAL QUALITY PROGRAM is conducting a branding study to assess the impact of a name change for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. One proposal is to change the name to “Malcolm Baldrige National Excellence Award,” with a tag line to define excellence. A proposed name change must be approved by Congress before it can take place. ASQ is assisting with the study by conducting a survey on its website. Go to www.asq.org/mr/baldrigenamechange.html to fill out the survey.

THE JOINT COMMISSION ON ACCREDITATION of Healthcare Organizations is accepting nominations for its 2007 John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality. The award recognizes achievements of individuals and organizations in improving patient safety and quality. The nomination deadline is April 16. For more information and to download a nomination form, go to www.jointcommission.org/patientsafety/eisenbergaward.

A NEW CERTIFICATION PROGRAM for medical device sales representatives has been introduced by EduNeering. The certification is designed to improve both regulatory compliance and business performance. For information, go to www.eduneering.com.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED for Worldwide Conventions and Business Forum’s Six Sigma in Sales and Marketing Conference, May 22-24 in Chicago. They are Bruce S. Moloznik, VP, global marketing at Cookson Electronic Assembly Materials in Elgin, IL; Gary Sutcliffe, Master Black Belt at Cookson; and Bill Robinson, president, innovation and quality solutions Easylink Services in Piscataway, NJ. For more information, go to www.wcbf.com/quality/5074.

A STUDY RELEASED BY THE CENTER for Studying Health System Change says physician compensation is tied more to productivity than to quality. The proportion of physicians in group practice whose compensation is based in part on quality measures was 20.2% in 2004-2005. That’s up from 2000-2001, when it was 17.6%. Despite that increase, financial incentives tied to physicians’ individual productivity continued to be much more common, consistently affecting about 70% of physicians in group practice since 1996-1997. For more information on the study, go to www.hschange.org.

THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION will make improvements to its automobile crash tests, according to a recent announcement by U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters. Added features of the new car assessment program will include more stringent rollover, frontal and side crash tests, plus added testing of technologies such as electronic stability control, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning systems. Go to www.safercar.gov/newcarassessmentenhancements-2007.pdf to view the full report.

PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES ARE SHIFTING to postmarket drug safety initiatives rather than relying solely on preapproval clinical trials and the federal drug approval process to prevent adverse reaction, according to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study. An executive summary of the report, “Unlocking the Power of Pharmacovigilance: An Adaptive Approach to an Evolving Drug Safety Environment,” can be downloaded from www.pwc.com/pharma.

THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY has issued a fact sheet answering questions about its efforts to support the U.S. Election Assistant Commission’s accreditation program. The program is for laboratories that conduct the testing, certification, decertification and recertification of voting system software and hardware for conformance to federal standards. The fact sheet is at www.nist.gov/public_affairs/factsheet/voting_qa.html.

DESIGN PATTERNS FOR FLEXIBLE MANUFACTURING is a new resource from ISA. The book explains rules that should be used when applying the ISA-88 batch control standards to both batch manufacturing and continuous and discrete manufacturing problems. For more information, go to www.isa.org/books.


ANAB Seeks Industry Input on Certification Needs

The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) has invited industry representatives to participate in a forum to explore the needs and expectations of businesses seeking certification of their quality and environmental management systems to standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

The forum will be held March 28 in San Francisco, in conjunction with meetings of the International Accreditation Forum, the global association of accreditation bodies that assess the competence of certification of management systems, products, services and personnel.

There is no fee for forum participation by industry guests, but registration is required. For more information or to register, go to www.anab.org/htmlfiles/iaf2007home.htm.

ASQ News

ASQ LAUNCHES TEAM EXCELLENCE FOR EDUCATION COMPETITION The first Team Excellence for Education Award will be presented at the National Quality Education Conference (NQEC), Nov. 11-13 in St. Louis. The competition is open to faculty and students from K-12 school districts and is modeled after ASQ’s International Team Excellence Award competition. The application deadline is March 30. For more information, go to
http://nqec.asq.org/2007/team-competition/index.html or e-mail gbalagopal@asq.org.

AUDIT DIVISION ISSUES CALL FOR PAPERS ASQ’s Audit Division has issued a call for papers for its annual conference, Oct. 11-12 in Atlanta. The theme is strategic innovation, implementation and interaction, and the due date is March 31. Abstracts of 800 words or less should be submitted to Jenifer Barr at jjbarr81@yahoo.com. For more information on the conference, go to www.asq.org/audit/conferences/index.html.

ANAB TO HOST IAF MEETINGS The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) will host the meetings of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) technical and executive committees in San Francisco, March 24-30. In conjunction with the meetings, IAF is holding its first Industry Day on March 28, for end users of the conformity assessment process. Speakers will discuss industry expectations of accredited certification to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. For more information, go to www.anab.org/htmlfiles/iaf2007home.htm.

SOFTWARE DIVISION CALLING FOR PRESENTATIONS, TUTORIALS ASQ’s Software Division is issuing a call for technical presentations and tutorials for the International Conference on Software Quality, Oct. 16-17 in Denver. The deadline for submission of proposals is April 16. Technical presentations and papers will be published on the conference tutorial CD, and best papers will be nominated for publication in Software Quality Professional. For more information on the conference and for submission forms, go to www.asq.org/software.

SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED FOR HEALTHCARE CONFERENCE ASQ has announced the keynote speakers for the Quality Institute for Healthcare (QIHC), April 30-May 2, Orlando, FL. They are John Heer, president and CEO of 2006 Baldrige recipient North Mississippi Health Services, and Ryan Armbruster, director of operations and design at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. QIHC will be held concurrently with ASQ’s World Conference on Quality and Improvement. For more information, go to http://qihc.asq.org.

ASQ MEMBER APPOINTED TO DEPT. OF EDUCATION COMMITTEE John Dew, chair of ASQ’s Education Division and member of ASQ’s Education Advisory Committee, has accepted an invitation to serve on a U.S. Department of Education committee. The committee is responsible for making rules for accreditation in higher education.


Response to Proposed URAC Measurement Guidelines Drives Revisions

The Utilization Review Accreditation Commission (URAC) is revising its recently proposed healthcare management service measures after receiving several suggestions from preferred provider organizations (PPOs).

URAC first introduced the measures in September as part of its Consumer Value Based Health Purchasing Measures Project. The project, to be applied across all nine of URAC’s accreditation programs over the course of several years, targets measurement of healthcare management services to promote consumer protection and quality improvement.

Rather than focusing on clinical measures, URAC’s program focuses on collecting information about consumer protection and empowerment and quality data for comparison across three general categories: service quality, consumer protection and empowerment, and satisfaction with services.

URAC asked for public comment on the initial set of measures in late 2006 and received numerous suggestions that highlight the need for metrics specifically relevant to PPOs.

Alan Speilman, URAC’s president and CEO, says the nonprofit organization is revising the measures to take into account the structure of PPO plans while remaining relevant to employers, purchasers and consumers.

“PPOs don’t follow a gatekeeper model, so metrics applicable to an HMO may not fit the PPO model,” Speilman explained.

URAC says it is conducting research to receive further input from purchasers and consumers. The organization plans to test the measures and begin collecting data from them in 2007. Starting in 2008, URAC will use the data to create an industry baseline that participating companies can use to assess their performance.

For more information on the project, go to www.urac.org/resources/cvbhpmfaq.aspx.


Award Winners Announced

The society awards board has announced the winners of ASQ’s national awards for 2006. They are as follows:

Brumbaugh Award: William Woodall, for his article “The Use of Control Charts in Health-Care and Public-Health Surveillance,” Journal of Quality Technology, April 2006

Deming Medal: Peter Scholtes, “for his efforts to inspire others to transform organizations”

Feigenbaum Medal: Vivek Nanda, for leadership by a quality professional 35 years old or younger

Freund-Marquardt Medal: Jeffrey Hooper, for being “a major influence in the content of management system standards and the development of advanced standardization processes”

Grant Medal: Noriaki Kano, for leadership in education

Juran Medal: John Hudiburg, for organizational leadership

Lancaster Medal: Mohamed Zairi, for contributions to the International Fraternity of Quality Professionals

Shainin Medal: Yoki Akao, for developing and practicing problem solving techniques

Shewhart Medal: William Meeker, for technical leadership

For more information on ASQ awards, go to www.asq.org/about-asq/awards.

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