Using ISO 9001 in Healthcare: Applications for Quality Systems, Performance Improvement, Clinical Integration, Accreditation, and Patient Safety

James M. Levett M.D. and Robert G. Burney M.D., ASQ Quality Press, 2014, 160 pp., $26 member, $44 list (second edition, book).

There is little argument that U.S. healthcare faces many challenges. The triad of patient, payer and provider is complex, convoluted and confusing. Levett and Burney decided their respective healthcare organizations would benefit from implementing a structured quality management system (QMS). The QMS they chose was ISO 9001. Since a lot has changed since the first version of this book in 2011, the authors decided to update readers on how and why to implement and use ISO 9001 in the current healthcare environment.

The book is not a step-by-step tutorial. It does, however, succinctly explain the rationale and path for implementing a QMS within a healthcare organization and why ISO 9001 should be the standard of choice. Additionally, the authors do an excellent job of explaining ISO 9001 technical concepts, implementation, application, tools, problems and suggestions for how to start.

Both authors have clearly "been there, done that." Levett led ISO 9001 implementation at a multi-specialty group practice, while Burney led global implementation within the State Department healthcare system. The ISO 9001 management system offers an orderly, disciplined approach to managing a healthcare organization and achieving stated goals. This book is an excellent start down that path and is most valuable for current and aspiring healthcare leaders.

James Kotterman
Plymouth, MI

Customer Experience 3.0: High-Profit Strategies in the Age of Techno Service

John A. Goodman, Amacom, 2014, 256 pp., $24.95 (book).

This book reflects practical experience and insightful retrospectives. A good place to start, actually, is the last chapter devoted to the customer experience (CE) function in organizations and the role of the CE leader. Once you’ve grasped the essentials in this chapter, the previous chapters will give you tools, methods and processes for managing CE. Some examples include:

  • Quantifying the revenue cost of inaction: How to assess payoff of an improved CE.
  • Do it right the first time (DIRFT): Building a culture that delivers DIRFT and related metrics.
  • Voice of the customer (VOC): Building blocks of effective VOC processes, sources of VOC data, enhancing the impact of VOC processes.

The book is both practical in scope and filled with real-life examples. The greater view of CE integrates the voice of the workforce and voice of the process with VOC. In this context, advanced analytics capabilities linking these three perspectives can have an important impact on CE.

I highly recommend this book in that it provides accessible and useful concepts and tools. It is an important source of information for service and quality managers.

Ron S. Kenett
Raanana, Israel

Redefining Operational Excellence: New Strategies for Maximizing Performance and Profits Across the Organization

Andrew Miller, Amacom, 2014, 256 pp., $27.95 (book).

Miller sees operational excellence not as a destination but as an objective and a mindset that will adjust as required by world economics. This book is recommended for managers across an organization from the floor to the boardroom. Readers learn how speed impacts profitability, the difference between responsibility and accountability and how to balance the tensions between quality and growth. Managers will realize operational excellence becomes a constant pursuit for improved performance and profitability in all areas of the organization.

By constantly redefining operational excellence, a culture will become established to help increase profitability, effectiveness, personnel retention, customer retention, stakeholder engagement, empowerment, innovation and performance to maximize financial and performance goals. Readers will learn how companies like Disney, BMW and GE have achieved great success by finding new opportunities to increase their performance and profitability.

This is an excellent book to be read by managers in all types of businesses and services. Miller has clearly articulated how to make needed cultural changes for operational excellence, ensuring a competitive advantages for the 21st century. It will become clear why the journey to operational excellence has no specific set of goals. As the economic environment changes, businesses will need to make appropriate changes to their operations to remain profitable and viable. Hence, operations will undergo continuous changes requiring continuous improvement.

John J. Lanczycki, Jr.
Creative Planners

Effective Implementation of an ISO 50001 Energy Management System

Marvin T. Howell, ASQ Quality Press, 2014, 192 pp., $48 member, $80 list (book).

Optimizing energy consumption is a key business and social goal for organizations today regardless of the industry they are in. However, what is typically lacking is a framework that establishes both operational and legal guidelines to fulfill this goal. To address this gap, the ISO 50001 Energy Management System (EnMS) standard was published in June 2011, based on the ISO 9001 Quality Management System and the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System standards.

EnMS is based on the popular plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle, and consists of 23 elements that need to be achieved and documented to meet the standard. Howell uses the PDCA cycle as the basis for organizing the chapters in the book, and details the salient points pertaining to ISO 50001 implementation. The beginning chapters provide a framework for the plan phase. They outline general requirements for an EnMS including the management responsibilities, forms, templates and processes.

Chapter 5 focuses on the do phase. In this chapter, the establishment of operational objectives that are the key elements of this phase are discussed. Chapter 6 discusses the check phase. The author details the specific elements of monitoring and measurement routines that must be instituted to ensure that the plan continues on track against identified goals, and discusses how barriers can be identified and addressed.

Chapter 7 outlines elements of the act phase. Periodic management reviews are a key aspect of this phase. The author specifies both the inputs necessary and outputs expected from these reviews. The last chapters of the book provide more practical advice to readers, such as how to integrate EnMS with other ISO standards, potential pitfalls organizations may encounter and countermeasures to deal with them.

The book is well-organized and well-written. It uses simple language allowing readers to focus on key themes. Sample forms, templates and checklists are included in every chapter. This book is a must-read for all quality professionals and others that are involved in the implementation of an ISO 50001 energy management system.

Rangarajan Parthasarathy
Harvard, IL

Recent Release

  • The Scorecard Solution: Measure What Matters and Drive Sustainable Growth
    Dan E. King, Amacom, 2015, 288 pp., $29.95 book).

Average Rating


Out of 0 Ratings
Rate this article

Add Comments

View comments
Comments FAQ

Featured advertisers