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ISO Certification - A Quality Improvement Initiative

Meghana Suvarna

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Healthcare industry today faces many growing challenges viz mounting healthcare costs rising customer demands increasing competition between healthcare organizations etc. To overcome this, healthcare organizations can choose to strive towards providing quality health care to patient by establishing Quality Management System QMS in the organization. International Organization for Standardization ISO has formulated series of standards – ISO: 9001 2000 dealing with organizational requirements to establish QMS.

Important stages in ISO Certification.

Stage 1: Management Commitment. Top management’s decision to go for ISO and defining quality policy and quality objectives. Appointment of Qulaity Management Representative – QMR

Stage 2: Institution wide awareness and training. Lectures and workshops conducted by experts for awareness and training.

Stage 3: System appraisal. Working groups comprising of various heads of departments for appraising and documenting procedures in various areas.

Stage 4: Documentation. Departments document details like organization structure, job description, procedural workflow, records maintenance as per certification requirement. Documents to be standardized and controlled.

Stage 5: Internal Auditor Group and Internal Audit. Selection and training of internal auditors and internal audit of the organization.

Stage 6: Pre assessment / Preliminary audit. Pre assessment audit by external auditors.

Stage 7: Final assessment / audit. Audit by certifying body

This systematic approach will guide the healthcare organization to achieve the ISO certification. It’s important to have ISO certification in the era of liberalization, privatization and globalization to be part of Health tourism.

Meghana Suvarna



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