Rashi Agarwal’s default image

By: Rashi Agarwal

Leaders of quality assurance programs must be able to generate interest and commitment without burdening clinical and administrative staff with an activity they neither understand nor believe in.

Hospital accreditation has been defined as “A self-assessment and external peer assessment process used by health care organizations to accurately assess their level of performance in relation to established standards and to implement ways to continuously improve.” Hospital quality assurance systems are operational control systems intended to fulfill specific expectations for treating patients.

Tom Greaves, Robert Shivers, Jose Vasquez,  Roy Cottrell, Ian Mackie and Keith Medley ’s default image

By: Tom Greaves, Robert Shivers, Jose Vasquez, Roy Cottrell, Ian Mackie and Keith Medley

The client is a small independent company that just made a $600 million bet on a new deepwater floating platform to develop a Gulf of Mexico field, which bigger companies considered too small to develop themselves. Get it right and the client doubles production next year. Get it wrong… well, do not go there. Mitigating installation risk with dimensional control makes a lot of sense when the stakes are so high. Here is how Bluewater Industries did it for ATP Oil and Gas Corp. (ATP) on the Titan Minimum Deep Offshore (MinDOC 3) floating platform project earlier this year.

The moment of truth for all offshore installations: Will the topsides-to-hull integration be performed successfully on the first attempt and without interferences? Bluewater Industries deployed dimensional control services from Intertek Hi-Cad at relevant stages of fabrication to limit the potential for installation problems, the cost, and conflicting schedules for ATP’s MinDOC 3 project. Installation and integration of the topsides modules was completed offshore in January without incident; no dimensional fitting or clashes were encountered.

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By: Sinead Randig


e’ve all done it: You need to learn something so you sign up for training. You attend a class. You go back to work. Does anything from the training class stay with you a week later? How about a month or six months later? Usually you feel good after training. You remember some of the content. You have some new ideas. But as time passes, the experience fades and you are back where you started. Is this a good return on your time and investment?

Many times, training is perceived as a quick fix for a business need. But is anything really fixed or improved if training is not transformed into an outcome on the job?

For training to be effective, a completely different approach to design and delivery is necessary. It is the training design that guarantees the success of training intervention. Traditionally, corporate training places little focus or depth to the design process. Often training is based on a mass of subject matter content, handled in a linear format, with heavy emphasis on the charisma of the trainer. A great trainer doesn’t mean that the training outcome is effective.

Wendy Parr’s default image

By: Wendy Parr

Almost two years ago, the management team of the Indiana Toll Road (ITR Concession Co. LLC) and the Chicago Skyway Bridge (Skyway Concession Co. LLC) decided that implementing a quality management system compliant with ISO 9001 would be a useful tool for driving continual improvement. The shared management team of both roads was relatively new since the roads had been recently privatized. The team was absolutely committed to customer satisfaction and operating the roads as efficiently as possible. Both roads also needed to comply with concession lease agreements with the State of Indiana and the City of Chicago, and a quality management system would continually verify compliance with the requirements.

There were many challenges to overcome in designing and implementing a quality management system compliant with ISO 9001. A consultant was selected to perform an initial gap analysis and help prioritize tasks needed to achieve organizational goals. The gap analysis not only identified actions required for compliance to ISO 9001 but also identified many opportunities for improvement.

Oriel STAT A MATRIX’s picture


In recent years, there have been published reports of an increase in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspectional observations associated with training deficiencies. Specifically, these inspectional observations have focused on training related to the quality system requirement that manufacturers "shall" have personnel with the necessary background, education, experience, and training to assure that all required activities are correctly performed in accordance with the governing requirements.

This is actually not a new issue, but rather one to which the FDA is paying closer attention. The FDA has long maintained that a key aspect of a compliant quality system is management’s responsibility to provide adequate resources—including the assignment of trained personnel—for management, performance of work, and assessment activities, including quality audits to meet the requirements of the quality system regulation.

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The following is a profile of one of the 2009 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Winners. The Baldrige Award is the nation’s highest award for quality and is administered by the Department of Commerce through the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

AtlantiCare, a nonprofit health system in southeastern New Jersey, delivers acute and chronic care, preventive and at-risk services, and health information services. The system employs about 5,100 people, making AtlantiCare the largest health care provider in the region. AtlantiCare has achieved market advantage with a diverse array of services delivered through a comprehensive distribution network and continues to grow in both system revenues and patient volume. From 2000 to 2008, system revenues grew from $280 million to $651 million, reflecting an 11 percent compound annual growth rate, compared to a state average of 5.6 percent. During this time period, AtlantiCare’s medical center volume increased from about 34,000 to more than 56,000 discharges—also more than twice the state average.

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By: Jon Miller

After every major natural disaster that disrupts global supply chains, there are voices that cry out “A-ha! I told you just-in-time inventory doesn’t work!” Recently the Icelandic volcano turned European skies airplane-free for a few days and news programs reported shortages of critical raw materials, such as bananas in Germany. Although the sky is clearing of volcano ashes, if extended for weeks, such a situation could have threatened foundations of the industrialized West. If I had power to influence the future of aviation, blimps would play a major role, their bulbous forms filling our skies, uninhibited by jet-engines that clog with volcanic debris.

R. Eric Reidenbach Ph.D.’s picture

By: R. Eric Reidenbach Ph.D.

I just read an article that appeared on Quality Digest Daily, “The Quality Crisis in America,” by David C. Crosby. The gist of the article is that the nation is in the midst of a quality crisis that has been with us for a very long time. The problem, according to Crosby, “is that the ‘big boss’—and most of the little bosses—are more interested in the stock price than the defect level.” He goes on to point out a fundamental truism, “They don’t understand that the stock price and the quality level are connected.”

I urge every manager to read this article and ask a simple but potentially revolutionizing question, “Does this apply to us?”

Tripp Babbitt’s picture

By: Tripp Babbitt

Like there isn’t enough politics in the workplace! Command and control managers love to rank employees; there needs to be forced ranking by assessment of performance to be considered a good manager and have a well-run company.

Some rank to give bonuses or incentives, and others rank to RIF employees (have to get rid of the bad ones). I never have found a good reason to rank and always advise against it. It is a bad practice that leads to waste and suboptimization.

I won’t dispute that in any entity, there is always someone at the top and someone at the bottom in terms of performance. However, the waste of performance appraisals, competition, back-stabbing, and manipulation far outweighs any conceivable benefit. Money and morale is lost with these activities.

The distribution of people and their performance is typically bell-shaped:

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

Hexagon Metrology Inc. announced its latest product today at Quality Expo South in Charlotte, North Carolina—the Leica Absolute Tracker AT401, the industry’s first wireless, battery powered laser tracker.

See It Live


The Smallest,
Ultra-Long Range Laser Tracker


Live Video Broadcast

Thursday, April 29

11 a.m. Pacific Time


Watch a live video demonstration of Hexagon Metrology's latest laser tracker, the Leica Absolute Tracker AT401. Weighing only 17.6 pounds, including the controller, and measuring just over 11 inches tall, the unit in its case will fit in an airplane's overhead luggage bin.


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