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Implementation of Quality Management System in Dispensary Establishments - Part 3


Resource Management – Human and Infrastructure

In the previous article, we have considered the documentation system development to enable both organization in defining processes, scope and critical points and also everyone in identifying their individual goals which will eventually lead to achieving the organization’s objectives.

Resource Management –Significant part of your Quality Management System

Referring the QMS in a process-based approach, we will see that, in order to obtain the required result, organization should provide adequate input and perform the process as specified in the procedures. Therefore, while the ISO 9001 requires management to provide resources necessary to achieve customer satisfaction, resources are a business case decision, because it will determine in to what extent an organization is able to provide in achieving the goals and customer satisfaction (cost benefit analysis)

This part of the series will highlights how resource management plays an important role in the QMS and how it will help organization to meet both the long-term objectives and the short-term goals that likely change over the years.

Planning the Resource

Having defined the ”output” i.e. objectives (part-1) and the process (part-2), we should be able to determine the required ”input”, i.e. resource. This principle can be applied in each level of process scope (corporate level, deparmental level, division level, up to individual level).

Example: Patient Service Unit for prescribed drug order in Pharmacy ABC has defined their quantified objective of fulfilling the received order from patient in 10 minutes for finished good and 30 minutes for completion of compound substances mixture. In order to achieve that, the Unit Head had designed a procedure that will guide the personnel in performing a standardized and efficient process of drug preparation. Hence, the management should decide the resource needed to facilitate the process thus achieving the objective. This includes defining, providing and managing, both the human resource and the infrastructure (physical material and equipment, also the intangible infrastructure such as work environment, corporate culture and organization capabilities).

For the case above, by considering the expected number of customer and prescription, the organization may want to specify the required resource, which covers:

Human Resource:
How many people? People with what type of job specification?
Is additional part-timer needed in peak hours where the regulation allows? What tasks can be handled by them?
How many shifts and how shifts arrangement is made?
What is the maximum load for each type of responsibility?

Tangible Resource
How many chairs should be provided in the waiting room?
How should the layout of pharmacy be designed to allow smooth flow of process, both in customer and employee view?
What are the stock levels of inventory (drug as merchandise or packaging material)? How should the storage capacity be provided to ensure an adequate pharmaceutical product handling?
Is it necessary to provide additional equipment to measure the service time and manage the queue?

Infrastructure and Work Environment
What is the required temperature for product handling?
What is the desired temperature in the waiting room?
Do we need to implement an IT system to enhance the process?
How cleanliness is maintained in the area? Will the cleaning activity be performed in-house or contracted to another service provider?
How is HSE (health and safety environment) addressed?

As processes are planned, resourced, implemented and validated/verified, similarly, resource management shall be regarded in the same manner

The most essential resource in any organization is the people. The extent of efforts and costs an organization willing to pay in this area will affect most of the organization performance. As a brief review, human resources management consists of acquiring, retaining, and developing employees. These functions should be consistent with the strategy and structure of the organization (Part-1). The activities include:

Developing a human resource strategy. This approach treats employees and future employees as human capital, intangible assets whose fullest potential should be developed.
Recruitment and selection.
Evaluation of performance.
Training and development.

Managing the resource to continuously meet your ever-developing goals

Earlier, it is mentioned that the short term goals may likely change and to be beneficial, the QMS needs to be agile, thus, resource management in it inevitably must have the ability to adjust to newer challenges. This requires adequate planning and forecasting, also process measurement and improvement (i.e. entire cycle of PDCA).

Human resource planning consists of forecasting future employment requirements. It includes the hiring, training, and monitoring of employees. Planning includes scanning the external environment to understand the area’s labor supply, workforce composition, and work patterns Organizations must forecast future employee needs to insure adequate resources when needed. Labor resources are not always as mobile as raw materials.

Since the provision of resource are originally intended to meet the objectives, then, assessment on the effectiveness should also done on the same basis, whether the most efficient use is made of available resources, and that the needs of all the stakeholders –customers, employees, shareholders and the community - are met.

A quality management system review should take place, possibly once a year, which covers many things (which we will review in the latter part), which several parts shall include; customer feedback, process and product conformity, changes that could affect the QMS and recommendations for improvements. As the outputs, the management will identify improvements to the QMS and processes, especially those related to customer requirements and the needed resource.

By conducting this cycle in a regular basis, organization will be able to identify, provide and manage the resource, suitable to their needs and in timely manner.