Effective communication plays a vital role in any organization’s growth. Today any progressive organization needs to encourage a culture for free exchange of ideas. Senior managers and executives need to encourage communication and evaluate suggestions coming from all levels of laboratory staff.
Management review meeting is held annually or twice a year in some organizations. It provides a platform for interaction with the laboratory management to discuss plans and review progress made since the last meeting. It is also an essential requirement as specified under clause 4.15 of ISO 17025 : 2005 standard for upkeep of quality systems adopted by a laboratory.
Every laboratory lays down its quality manual based on internationally recommended guidelines. A management review provides answers to the following questions:
- Are quality management objectives being achieved by active involvement of entire staff
- Existence of a corrective mechanism to overcome deficiencies in the system
- Monitor deficient areas in quality and discuss improvement measures
- Mechanisms to monitor recurrence of failures in quality before such measures assume critical proportions
- Scope for improvement of the quality systems and ensure that the quality objectives are achieved
You can get answers to the above questions and also useful suggestions through management meetings provided the following points are covered in the agenda:
- Quality matters arising from the last few meeting and a report from the manager confirming that all actions have been taken
- Report on any surveillance on assessments by the accreditation body
- Discussion of the results of all audits, both internal and external
- Review of the quality manual and decisions on any changes required
- Performance and proficiency tests and any similar internal laboratory exercises; plans for future participation in such exercises
- In-house quality control checks
- Complaints from customers and follow-up action
- Results from customer surveys and plans for future surveys
- Quality incidents and follow-up action
- Review of staff training and plans for the following year
- Adequacy of staff, equipment and other resources to maintain quality
- Future plans for staffing, equipment, premises, etc
- Agreement on action points and date of next meeting
The meeting should also focus on need to amend the quality manual of the situation demands and to achieve the new standards set by the laboratory.