Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Royal College Meeting (Plus)

So I went to the Royal College meeting in Ottawa today and heard more about the plan for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in Canada to get more engaged in the Quality process.  Considering all the high profile  negative media events that have shone far too bright a light on some not-so-fine laboratory practices in Canada over the last decade, its about time.

So I have to say that I was less than thrilled when almost the first resolution raised was "well we should create a new committee".  But as the day went on and the dialogue and refinements massaged the message, the vision became a lot clearer, and maybe more hopeful.

In Canada we have created a structure that many other countries have been able to bypass.  We have a national constitution that says that health care (and education, and roads) is a provincial jurisdiction and as such the national government does not have the mandate or authority to make binding national health policy.  And while national organizations can, none of them have the authority to make them stick.
That being said, I suspect that the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada could make said policies and could make them stick because when push comes to shove they are the professional  maintenance of certification  granting authority and if they wanted to use the risk of certification censure as a stick, they could do a lot.
But that is not where they want to go, and perhaps with good reason. 

But what was important about this meeting was the recognition by a large group of Pathologists and Laboratorians was that something has to be done, and that it (what ever "it" is) should revolve around a higher profile for improved Quality activity.  An to the extent possible, it should be created once, and be used nationally rather than being created 13 times (10 provinces and 3 territories).

So that is good.  Good for laboratorians, good for health care, and good for Canadians.  (We can call that a win-win-win).  And so we will see what happens next, understanding that at these levels, "next" does not mean the same thing as "tomorrow".

In the meantime as I was coming home on the plane, I had some time to read the new PLUS 9001: The ISO 9000 Essentials.  As mentioned before this is a series of books created by the Canadian Standards Association as handbooks for implementing ISO standards.  This edition (the 4th) came out in 2009. 
We use this book for our course (www.POLQM.ca)

Well let me tell you, while I have been pleased with other books in the series, this one is amazing good.  The first 60 pages should be mandatory reading for ANYONE interested in organizational management, and that especially applies to health care laboratorians. 
It is clear, it is precise, it is descriptive, it is comprehensible.  I look forward to teaching with it.

It costs about $70.00 and is available on the CSA website www.shopCSA.ca
Or get it though the course.

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