Tuesday, July 27, 2010

International Training in Quality - next chapter.

This week I had an opportunity to work with the University of Washington  International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) with an great group of participants from China, Kenya, Thailand, and the US.  One might wonder about the mix of nationalities, but it worked well.  Fortunately their English was a lot better than my non-existent Mandarin, Swahili, and Thai.  And where there were potentially going to be challenges, there were people that could translate. 

The basis of discussion was around the Quality Management training CD produced last year by the World Health Organization.  It was the perfect dovetail with the UBC Program Office for Laboratory Quality Management, and I trust the beginning of a sustained collaborative relationship.

The full program is a two week training and mentoring exercise on a variety of relevant topics.  I had the opportunity to talk about 3 favorite topics, Customer satisfaction, Laboratory Safety, and Laboratory Accreditation on 2 of the days.  I will await the participant survey results, but from my perspective the program went well.

What distinguished this session was not so much the faculty, or the collaboration, or the the setting, or even the individual participants (all were important), but rather it was the high degree of interaction, dialogue, and discussion.  It was a good thing that scheduling was considered loosely.  Folks had a lot to say, most of which was generally accepted, some of which might be considered as controversial, but all of it became fodder for healthy discussion. 

For Quality, all discussion, is a good thing.
The more open, the more transparent, the better.

International collaborations are a triple win, good for training programs, good for program trainees, and good for their home institutions.


PS: For folks who are interested, my presentations will be available on www.POLQM.ca next week.

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