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By Kicab Castaneda-Mendez


The changing nature of today's health care organizations, including pressure to reduce costs, improve the quality of care and meet stringent guidelines, has forced health care professionals to re-examine how they evaluate their performance. While many health care organizations have long recognized the need to look beyond financial measures when evaluating their performance, many still struggle with what measures to select and how to use the results of those measures. Because a growing number of health care professionals have readily adopted quality concepts, health care organizations should be able to quickly improve their performance measurement systems by following a few simple rules.

History

A brief look at the evolution of quality in modern health care systems may help understand the need to improve performance measurement.

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By Quality Digest

 

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Welcome to Quality Digest’s 2009 Registrar Buyers Guide. This handy resource includes more than 50 listings of companies that provide registration and auditing services on several standards, from the ubiquitous ISO 9001 for the overall management of quality management systems to any number of sector-specifics.

Included in each description, you’ll find the company name, location, phone and fax number, web site, and abbreviations representing the standards for which each company provides registration services. A key defining these abbreviations is included below.

Be sure to check this buyers guide online at www.qualitydigest.com/content/buyers-guides for additional information on these companies.

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By Robert Morris

Product integrity occurs when performance, schedule, and affordability converge throughout the product life cycle. The first critical stage in realizing product integrity happens early in the product life cycle during design and development; a second and no less critical stage occurs later, during the transition from development to production. Early in the process, the relationship between design intent and process capability must be established and understood. As the design matures and transitions to production, it must be manufactured in a repeatable and affordable way by an extended supply chain. Achieving these seemingly intuitive objectives continues to be elusive for much of the aerospace and defense industry.

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By Quality Digest

 

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Welcome to Quality Digest’s 2009 3-D Measurement Equipment and Software Buyers Guide.

This directory includes the contact information. for 91 companies that offer 3-D measurement and analysis products. Further information, including detailed descriptions of these companies’ products and services, is available online at www.qualitydigest.com/content/buyers-guides.

Only those companies that responded to our requests for updated information have been included in this buyers guide. We don’t intend this directory as an endorsement of any organization; it’s merely a starting point in your data-gathering process. We encourage you to contact these companies directly for further information.

Mary F. McDonald’s picture

By Mary F. McDonald

 

Our process improvement consulting company was contacted by a new design client requesting assistance in improving its quality management system (QMS). The company had used an existing system for several years, but it was still experiencing difficulties in making on-time delivery of designs; it had a higher-than-industry average, and missed customer requested dates in some cases. The designs themselves were sometimes nonconforming, having a higher-than-industry average for errors or missing a promised function. We agreed to work with the designers to identify areas of their QMS that could be strengthened, and to develop and implement a comprehensive quality plan to address these concerns.

Closing the Loop on CAPAs with Quality Management Software

by Mike Jovanis

 

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By Peter Schulz

 

The idea of mixing optics and measurement has its origins hundreds of years ago in the realm of pure science, i.e., astronomy (telescopy) and microscopy. Manufacturing first adopted optics for routine inspection and measurement of machined and molded parts in the 1920s with James Hartness’ development of instruments capable of projecting the magnified silhouette of a workpiece onto a ground glass screen. Hartness, as longtime chairman of the United States’ National Screw-Thread Commission, applied his pet interest in optics to the problem of screw-thread inspection. For many years, the Hartness Screw-Thread Comparator was a profitable product for the Jones and Lamson Machine Company, of which Hartness was president.

Horizontal vs. vertical instrument configurations

 

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By William A. Stimson, Ph.D.


One of the most important objectives of an internal quality audit is measuring the effectiveness of an organization's quality management system. For this to happen, executive management must first meet its overriding responsibility of establishing and maintaining a system regarding quality policy, goals, resources, processes and effective performance--including monitoring and measuring the system's effectiveness and efficiency.

ISO 9001:2000 delineates this responsibility into three distinct areas: 4.1 General requirements, 4.2 Documentation requirements and 4.3 Quality management principles. If an organization's executive management isn't active in these three areas, then they won't be addressed and the quality system will be ineffective. Let's look at them one at a time, first in terms of their meaning and then as auditable characteristics.

S. Bala’s picture

By S. Bala

The United States spends 16 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care, more than any other nation. Although that investment has produced medical experts and breakthroughs envied the world over, a great majority of U.S. citizens are unhappy with the end results. When the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund conducted a poll of U.S. health care consumers last year, 69 percent expressed strong dissatisfaction with the current health care system. In a 2007 survey, the same group found U.S. respondents twice as likely to support a complete overhaul of their system than those from Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Great Britain, and Australia--all nations that spend half as much GDP as the United States on health care.

Mike Richman’s picture

By Mike Richman

Cummins Inc. designs, manufactures, distributes, and services engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions, and electrical power generation systems. Cummins serves customers in more than 160 countries through its network of 550 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 5,000 dealer locations. Cummins reported a net income of $739 million on sales of $13.05 billion in 2007.

 

Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series looking at how companies can share best practices such as Six Sigma across the supply chain. The first part of this series, which focused on heavy-duty truck manufacturer PACCAR, appeared in Quality Digest’s October 2008 issue. You can view that article online at www.qualitydigest.com/magazine/2008/oct/article/partnering-change-part-1.html.

Craig Cochran’s picture

By Craig Cochran

So you have a customer complaint. It’s not just any complaint, but a huge one from your biggest customer. The problem affects millions of dollars in business and threatens the survival of your company. Are you going to take action? Of course! You put together a team of top players and attack it head-on.

Team members investigate the problem and perform a detailed 5-Why analysis. They start with the problem statement and ask, “Why did that happen?” repeatedly, drilling down deeper with each iteration:

Problem: There were seven data errors in reports issued to our largest customer in the last month

Why? Because lab reports are getting in the wrong project folders.

Why? Because the project numbers are written illegibly on the folders.

Why? Because the customer service representatives are rushed when preparing folders.

Why? Because there are only two representatives taking calls for all divisions.