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    Friday, 15 March 2019

    PSMI Renal Services makes history

    Aristotle once said, “Quality is not an act, it is a habit”. This statement has proven to be true for PSMI Renal Services as the team lives quality, eats quality and performs quality services. Their quality way of life was confirmed last year when they successfully earned their ISO certification. The centre is the first private renal centre to be ISO (international Standards Organisation) certified. We caught up with the Head Renal Services Sr Diana Zhira (DZ) who relived the centre's road to ISO 9001:2015 QMS Certification and below are the excerpts.
    Qn:  What is ISO 9001 QMS certification in brief and what value does it add to PSMI?
    DZ: International Standards Organization (ISO) 9001 Quality Management System (QMS) Certification is a standardized business method that provides for planning of the intended strategic results of the business (customer satisfaction), setting up processes and methods to achieve the planned results. This is then augmented through monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation as a determinant of effectiveness, with focus business outputs and the methods Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Work Instructions and record tools translating into clear intentions of the business, thus allowing for clear responsibility and accountability, at all levels of engagement.
    Qn: What are the initiatives that you took as a department to earn this?
    DZ: The preliminary step was to understand and appreciate the task at hand. Engagement of all staff to ensure awareness of the ISO 9001:2015. All members of the team became aware of the expected outcome from the start. The team had a series of awareness training, engagements and feedback sessions as new concepts, misconceptions and challenges were addressed. A survey to establish the current status of the unit was carried out to determine a realistic road map.
    Qn: How did your team contribute to this achievement?
    DZ: Employees worked together as a team from the documentation development stage that is coming up with SOPs, work instructions and records forms), reviewing of documented information and the implementation stage guided by our Consultant. They worked hard and going an extra mile became the norm as all strived to meet set deadlines. The zeal and dedication was out of this world. Thumps up to the team.  This was a key tool for promoting awareness at all levels within the business unit. Platforms were set up to obtain consistent feedbacks and the enablers ensured all the requests were fulfilled on time. Plan, Do, Check, Act, opportunities and risk based thinking was adopted in the daily activities.
    Qn: What does it mean to the Renal Department and also the organization as a whole, to have standards that are internationally recognized?
    DZ: It means a lot, it means the following:
    •    We are experts in High Performance and service excellence.
    •    We have a built in WOW factor appetite for our customers and products according to internationally recognised standards.
    •    It means offering services and products according to an internationally recognized standards.
    •    We add value to our stakeholders and shareholders.
    •    We are now on the world map.

    Qn: What is our advantage to our competitors who are not ISO certified now that we are ISO certified?
    DZ: The centre has determined and documented requisite process and activities required for sustained delivery of consistent customer service excellence. Renal has documented processes and mechanisms for identifying and handling of customer-related complaints, and opportunities for improvement which would be a general concern for customers. We also are adhering and conforming to a globally accepted standard (QMS) as a unique attribute in our industry. We now have a capability to self-check as well as third party checking mechanisms through internal and 3rd party audits.
    Qn: What are the challenges that you faced during the process?
    DZ: ISO certification is culture change in itself. Naturally, change does not come easy and it takes people out of their comfort zones. Leadership character requiring responsibility and accountability starting at a personal level, became a key perspective. All personnel had to bear with the responsibility to hold self and each other accountable against the requirement to owner our quality promise to customers. A case in example is the documentation of non-conformities against set requirements which took serious efforts for buy-in, acceptance and adoption.
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