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The American Society for Quality will host its fifth Six Sigma conference in Palm Springs, California, next year.

The conference will be held Feb. 7-8 at the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort and Spa. It’s designed for managers who are actively involved in the process of organizational change, development and group dynamics. ASQ reports that presenters will include representatives from Fortune 500 companies.

For more information, visit www.asq.org.

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Planners for a January manufacturing, design and plastics exposition will feature the use of Six Sigma to enhance these industries.

It will be the first time planners of shows (the exposition is made up of five similar trade shows held simultaneously in the Anaheim Convention Center) will so thoroughly segment the conference sessions, in an effort to direct attendees to the topics most applicable to them. “New Technologies for Achieving Lean and Sigma Goals,” is one of 30 sessions that will be offered at the event.

The show will be held Jan. 10-12 and is produced and managed by Canon Communications LLC. For more information, visit www.canontradeshows.com.

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Ixperion recently announced it’s planning to host Six Sigma conferences all over the world this fall and winter.

The conferences will examine the use of Six Sigma in different industries. The first will be Oct. 19-20 in London, and will focus on the use of Six Sigma in health care and the public sector. Speakers include representatives from the British National Health System, Royal Mail, Bedfordshire Magistrates’ Court and National Probation Service for West Yorkshire, and hospitals in Ireland and Illinois.

Ixperion’s Houston conference will focus on Six Sigma in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. It’s planned for Nov. 16-17, and will feature presentations from several major companies in the chemicals and pharmaceutical industries, including GE Advanced Materials, Alpharma Pharmacueticals, Praxair and Abbot Laboratories. It will be Ixperion’s third Six Sigma conference for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

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The relationship between the quality of health care and patient illness is being examined in a new book.

Lean Six Sigma in Sickness and in Health, by Forrest Breyfogle and Arvind Salvekar, explores the use of lean and Six Sigma concepts in the effective delivery of health care. Through the story of Jorge Santos, a fictional hospital executive whose wife is seriously injured in a car accident, the book examines problems in an unprepared emergency room, with ineffective processes that make it difficult for his wife to receive proper care. While his wife is being treated, Santos reflects on how his own hospital avoided similar problems by implementing an enhanced lean Six Sigma improvement system.

The book isn’t intended to be an implementation guide. Rather, it uses Santos’ story to explain quality management philosophies in an easy-to-understand way.

For more information, visit www.smartersolutions.com.

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Quality initiatives such as lean and Six Sigma save businesses upward of 10 percent of their annual revenues, according to a recently released study.

“Lean, Six Sigma & TQM Project Success: Recent Case Studies and Benchmarks,” performed by consulting firm Best Practices LLC, includes examinations of 15 case studies and input from 84 companies. Results and descriptions of lessons learned include:

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By: Quality Digest

Gerald (Gerry) J. Hahn was recently awarded the American Society for Quality’s Distinguished Service Medal for his long commitment to the quality profession.

Hahn, a statistical consultant and adjunct faculty member at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, began his career in 1955 as an applied statistician at General Electric’s corporate research and development (GECRD) unit. In 1973, he established the GECRD’s applied statistics program, which has since become recognized as a world leader in advanced quality and productivity improvement. The GECRD is responsible for the use of statistics to address manufacturing, engineering and financial issues for GE, as well as for developing advanced Six Sigma tools.

In 1984, Hahn was named a Coolidge Fellow by the GECRD (the organization’s highest honor) for his wide-ranging accomplishments in the fields of statistics and quality control. The ASQ Distinguished Service Medal will be presented on Nov. 18 at the Hudson-Mohawk section meeting.

For more information, visit www.asq.org.

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ISO recently awarded the subcommittee responsible for developing ISO 9001:2000 with the prestigious Lawrence D. Eicher Leadership Award.

In presenting the award, ISO President Oliver Smoot praised ISO/TC 176, which developed the standard, for its “rigorous and demanding” project management throughout the development process. Charles Corrie, secretary to the subcommittee, accepted the award for his colleagues.

“On behalf of all of ISO, I am pleased to present the award certificate and offer our congratulations and thanks for the work accomplished efficiently, effectively and harmoniously,” Smoot remarked. He also congratulated the subcommittee “for having one of the highest rates of participation for developed and developing countries, all of whom benefit from the support of an excellent secretariat.”

The British Standards Institution holds the secretariat of the subcommittee, which is chaired by John Davies. There are 68 representatives on ISO/TC 176 (59 participants and nine observers). The recommendation to honor the subcommittee was made by ISO’s Technical Management Board, which received eight nominations from member bodies last April.

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Senators unanimously passed H.R. 3389 on Sept. 24, a bill that establishes a not-for-profit category for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

“This is great news for the entire country as well as the quality community and the American Society for Quality, which has been the driving force behind the effort to expand the Baldrige to the not-for-profit sector,” says Danny Duhan, ASQ president.

The House of Representatives also unanimously passed the bill in March, so it will now be sent to President Bush for his signature.

Supporters lobbied members of Congress for two years to pass the bill. Legislators who worked on this bill include representatives Melissa Hart (R-PA), Brad Miller (D-NC), Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Bart Gordon (D-TN), and Vern Ehlers (R-MI), and Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Ernest Hollings (D-SC).

For more information, visit www.asq.org.

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MetricStream Inc. announced the inclusion of application delivery (“zaplet”) via e-mail in its latest release, MetricStream 3.5.

The capability will allow organizations to engage relevant internal casual users and external partners in the compliance process through e-mail without having to learn the entire application. “MetricStream continues to leverage its architecture to lead the industry in delivering the most innovative quality and compliance solution to the marketplace,” says Shellye Archambeau, MetricStream CEO. “Ensuring 100 percent adoption of application by casual internal users and partners is a real issue that needs to be addressed for a world-class deployment of a compliance application. I am very excited about MetricStream’s ability to address such hard issues.”

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The U.S. health care system has huge quality gaps that contribute to 42,000 to 79,000 avoidable deaths every year, according to a recent survey released by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

“State of Health Care Quality 2004,” released on Sept. 23, found that the quality of care delivered by health plans improved markedly from last year. But it also indicates that, because those improvements were applied to only one-quarter of the system, health care is deeply polarized and delivers excellent care to some people and generally poor care to others.

“The data we have tell a great story—health care quality for some is improving consistently and dramatically,” says Margaret E. O’Kane, NCQA president. “But we have only data for accountable health plans. Why don’t we have performance data for the other 75 percent of the U.S. health care system? All types of health plans, hospitals and doctors should report on their performance. How else can we made informed choices?”