Background Quality standards invite organisations to determine and meet customer requirements in order to continually improve customer satisfaction. However, a certification organisation stressed that customer focus was insufficiently developed in our facility. This deficiency could lead to serious repercussions as this hospital pharmacy is independent from its customers and is currently evolving in a changing environment.
Purpose To develop a self-assessment tool to evaluate the pharmacy’s functioning in relation to customer-focused quality requirements.
Material and methods Requirements of an optimal customer-focused quality management system were obtained from two quality standards (ISO 9001 and a hospital pharmacy quality reference system (RQPH)). A three-person workgroup scored these requirements according to the level of realisation, the extent of measurements performed, the suitability of the implemented answer; and its relevance to the organisation (0 pt = non-existent, 1–2 pts = intermediate, 3 pts = optimal). By adding these four scores, a total score of maturity was obtained for each requirement (≤4 pts = insufficient; 5–8 pts = intermediate; ≥9 pts = satisfactory). The requirements that scored 0 pt for any criterion, 1 pt for their degree of realisation or a total score <5 pts, were selected for improvement.
Results 54 requirements were identified (ISO 9001 = 14; RQPH = 14 general, 26 specific). Most of them scored more points on their level of realisation and measurement than on suitability and relevance, indicating that customer-focused activities had probably been implemented merely to answer quality requirements, without being useful, usable or put into use. A mean score of 7.25/12 pts indicated an intermediate global maturity of the customer-focused quality management system. One-third of requirements were selected for improvement (4/14 ISO 9001, 14/40 RQPH). Various practical suggestions for improving the pharmacy’s functioning were finally made based on these results, and are currently being implemented.
Conclusion A quality requirement self-assessment tool was developed and tested successfully. It could be used by other organisations to assess their response to various quality requirements.
References and/or acknowledgements No conflict of interest.
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