A Practical Field Guide For ISO 9001:2008

Erik Valdemar Myhrberg, ASQ Quality Press, 2009, 144 pp., $40 member, $60 list (book).

 For any organization exploring the design and development of an ISO 9001:2008-based quality management system (QMS) or any organization transitioning from ISO 9001:2000 to ISO 9001:2008, this guide is a must-have source.

Although the guide does not directly copy the 2008 standard, it does address every clause of the 2008 standard in seven ways:

  1. Restates requirements of each sub-clause in easy-to-understand language.
  2. Shows any critical relationship of the 9001 requirements to key points made in the ISO 9000 and ISO 9004 documents.
  3. States the documented requirements for each clause.
  4. Suggests pertinent internal audit questions.
  5. Highlights management’s responsibilities, key actions to be taken and supportive examples.
  6. Provides a flowchart of the steps recommended to implement the portion of the QMS pertaining to each clause or subclause of the standard.
  7. Furnishes an outline of the changes in the 2008 standard compared with the 2000 standard for each clause.

An extremely useful summary of all "ISO 9001:2008 Documented Requirements By Section" lists in clause sequence the type of documentation required, indicating whether each item is a manual, a procedure or a record.

The guide, when used as a checklist prior to externally conducted surveillance audits, will identify QMS shortcomings that can affect maintance of the ISO 9001 certification. The author has substantially reduced the mystery surrounding how to plan for, develop and maintain an effective and efficient QMS.

Russ Westcott
R.T. Westcott & Associates
Old Saybrook, CT

A Guide to Lean Six Sigma Management Skills

Howard S. Gitlow, Auerbach, 2009, 166 pp., $49.95 (book).

This book is dedicated to all the worker bees who want to enjoy work but have no idea how to go about it. The book explains how this is possible, assuming executives do not crush the effort. The examples are simple, clear and taken from everyday life.

In some ways, the book is fairly brief. However, the discussion of 5S, (sort, systematize, spic and span, standardize and self-discipline) is comprehensive.

A large portion of the book explores management methods and strategies to get people motivated and engaged in organizational improvement. Important discussion areas in the book focus on control charts, different types of variation illustrated by Deming’s funnel experiment and red bead experiment, extrinsic and intrinsic motivators, and how to create win-win solutions to conflicts.

It was hard to view this book as a primarily lean Six Sigma guide because it doesn’t dig very deep. However, this book is a great guide for organizations interested in working on management skills. I enjoyed the book’s motivating and inspiring style.

Bengt Klefsjö
Luleå University
of Technology
Luleå, Sweden

Evidence-Based Management in Healthcare

David J. Fine, Richard D’Aquila and Anthony R. Kovner, Health Administration Press, 2009, 340 pp., $79 (book).

This book combines extensive research from 31 contributors in the actual use of evidence-based (EB) management in healthcare systems. Some of the material is new, and some consists of reprints from leading journals.

The first chapter presents results from focus groups with healthcare decision makers. The findings are clearly presented and provide a context for the book.

In chapter two the authors identify five steps for using EB management:

  • Framing the question.
  • Finding information.
  • Evaluating the information.
  • Determining the applicability and actionability of the information.
  • Establishing the adequacy of the information.

The 11 case studies are then presented with this structure in the background. The chapter concludes with lessons learned and additional questions for consideration by hospital management. The book also features an appendix that lists sources of information on EB management in healthcare.

This book is an important contribution to healthcare management but has wider implications. It is recommended reading for hospital managers, healthcare specialists and anyone interested in providing improved competitive services in any type of industry.

In addition, it bridges the gap between academic research and practitioner’s work environments, providing depth of treatment and a useful general method.

Ron S. Kenett
KPA Ltd.
Raanana, Israel

Governance for Heath Care Providers

David B. Nash, William J. Oetgen and Valerie P. Pracilio (editors), Productivity Press, 2008, 344 pp., $79.95 (book).

Anyone who is or wishes to be a member of a governing board, whether it is for a for-profit or a nonprofit organization, should read this book. The authors have done an excellent job assembling experts to address the essentials for serving on the governing board of any group, although the focus here is on healthcare-related institutions.

The topics review everything that is typically an issue for a board, including general governance, staffing, facilities and maintenance, ethics, planning and finances.

Each section starts with a chapter index, an executive summary, learning objectives, keywords and an introduction. It finishes with a case-study exercise, notes, suggested readings, websites and references. While this is one way to force standardization by each section’s author, it may be a bit much for the casual reader. Governance responsibilities and activities are not usually taught through formal instruction. However, this book would be an excellent choice as a primary reference for such a course. The format used lends itself well to a self-study group.

The strengths of this book are the span of its coverage, the clear advice given and the fact that it concentrates on healthcare systems, which intrinsically have many more responsibilities and liabilities than most other industries. Its main weakness is that there are few concrete examples given, although this is mitigated by the hypothetical situations, which are easily recognized as real-life happenings that will likely occur at some point.

Marc A. Feldman
Solvay Chemicals Inc.

Recent Releases

  • Process Management In Education
    Robert W. Ewy and Henry A. Gmitro, ASQ Quality Press, 2010, 120 pp., $36 member, $60 list (book).
  • Lean Safety: Transforming Your Safety Culture With Lean Management
    Robert B. Hafey, CRC Press, 2010, 186 pp., $39.95 (book).

Average Rating


Out of 0 Ratings
Rate this article

Add Comments

View comments
Comments FAQ

Featured advertisers