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How Can ISO 9001:2015 Help Healthcare Providers 2018?

10 May 2018
On 20th March 2018 Steve Barclay, Minister of State for Health, issued the remit for NHS Improvement 2018-19.

The remit outlines NHS improvement objectives and government priorities for healthcare services throughout 2018-2019 and are aiming for clinically and financially sustainable health services which improve overall health outcomes and reduce health inequalities in the industry. 

The main aim is to drive efficient use of resources and quality of care in NHS providers.  

To achieve these objectives NHS England, The CQC, Health Education England, National NHS Bodies and providers will have to work together to drive improvements.

What is the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Standard?

ISO 9001 is an internationally recognised standard for Quality Management Systems. It is the most widely used Quality standard in the world and boasts over 1.1 million certificates issued to organizations in 178 countries.

ISO 9001 is designed to provide a framework and set of principles that ensure a common-sense approach to the management of an organization to consistently satisfy its customers and other stakeholders. In simple terms, it provides the foundation for effective processes and effective people to deliver an efficient product or service time after time.

Improvement Objectives for NHS Providers

Below are some examples of the Improvement Objectives for NHS Providers and how the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Standard can help providers to achieve them:

  • Increasing the number of NHS Providers achieving a CQC Good or Outstanding rating and reducing the number of providers in special measures for quality. This can be achieved by providers using the ISO 9001:2015 standard to establish processes in line with the CQC Standards of Quality and Safety and by monitoring, reporting and internally auditing the processes. Giving managers peace of mind that their compliance status is being measured. (Note: see the ISO 9001:2015 standard Clause 9 - Performance Evaluation.)

  • To support providers to make safe staffing decisions. This can be achieved by providers using the ISO 9001:2015 standard to determine risk based resource and competence levels and to plan for staff succession. (Note: see the ISO 9001:2015 Standard Clauses 6 and 7.)

  • Collecting information on what goes wrong in the NHS, by using information to support the NHS to reduce risks to patients. Reducing the number of deaths due to problems in care (avoidable deaths). This can be achieved by providers by using the ISO 9001:2015 standard to log incidents and non-compliance, investigate root cause(s) and record immediate and longer term actions to prevent a recurrence and monitoring the effectiveness of action taken. (Note: see the ISO 9001:2015 Standard Clauses 8.7.1 and 10.2.)

  • Working with NHS England and providers to improve the percentage of NHS staff who report that patient and service user feedback is used to make informed improvement decisions. This can be achieved by providers using the ISO 9001:2015 standard to ensure effective  monitoring of  patient and service user feedback, including the degree to which their needs and expectations have been fulfilled, to analyse and evaluate conformity of services provided, the effectiveness of planning, the effectiveness of actions to address risks and opportunities and the need for improvement. (Note: see the ISO 9001:2015 Standard Clauses, 6.1, 9.1.2 and 10.3.)

  • The need for providers to develop and publish board level service quality improvement plans that will achieve significant and measurable improvements in the quality of services, reducing deaths, harm and adverse outcomes. This can be achieved by providers using the ISO 9001:2015 standard to help develop their strategic improvement plans and objectives and in monitoring their own performance. (Note: see the ISO 9001:2015 Standard Clauses 5.1, 6.2 and 10.3.)

  • The need for providers to implement the CQC ‘Well Led Framework’ improving the assessment of leadership and governance and achievement of continuous improvement. This can be achieved by providers using the ISO 9001:2015 standard to determine leadership requirements and accountabilities, promoting risk based thinking and effective resource planning, ensuring intended results are achieved and supporting all levels of management to demonstrate effective leadership.  (Note: see the 9001:2015 Standard Clause 5.1.).