Implementation of the ISO 9001:2000 standard in the Infectious Diseases Surveillance and Control Office of the Department of Public Health, Western Health Board, Ireland
Abstract number: 902_p1178
The Infectious Diseases Surveillance and Control Office (IDSCO) is part of the Department of Public Health, in Merlin Park. The primary functions of the office are: (1) surveillance of infectious diseases for the Western Health Board; (2) production of the monthly Westfile bulletin; (3) management and control of outbreaks of infectious diseases. The need for health services to focus on quality was clearly stated in the 2001 Health Strategy for Ireland. This prompted the IDSCO team to apply the ISO 9001:2000 standard to the surveillance and control of infectious diseases in the Western Health Board.
Conforming to the ISO 9001:2000 standard involved carefully delineating the functions of the office and determining measuring points where performance could be assessed. Some steps proved problematic and the progress towards registration will be outlined, along with some of the difficulties encountered.
Implementation of the ISO 9001:2000 standard and successful registration usually takes a full year. The IDSCO was registered successfully by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) after only 10 months. This is all the more remarkable since it was the first time this standard has been applied to the surveillance and control of infectious diseases in Ireland; and may also be the first such registration in Europe. Implementation of the ISO 9001:2000 standard has resulted in the following improvements to the surveillance and control of infectious diseases in the Western Health Board: (1) The monthly surveillance bulletin Westfile has been improved by the addition of formal customer feedback measurement. (2) The accuracy of regional infectious disease figures reported in the bulletin has been improved by modification of the process used to extract the data. (3) The control and management of outbreaks has been improved by addition of specific measuring points that can assess how efficiently the process is controlled at each point. (4) Continuous review, as an integral part of the ISO 9001:2000 standard; ensures that the system currently in place will be reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure it delivers the best service possible.
The implementation of the ISO 9001:2000 standard in the IDSCO was a tortuous but ultimately worthwhile process. As it was a national, and possibly a European first, the experience we have gained from the successful implementation of the ISO 9001:2000 standard may assist others considering registration."
|Session name:||XXIst ISTH Congress|
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