What does it take

To develop a quality lab that achieves the highest success rates and minimizes its risks requires a broad spectrum of resources, a shortfall in any one of which can cause the whole endeavour to fail.

1. For any organization to be able to change, there is an absolute need for "slack" (DeMarco, 2001). Insufficient slack will compromise the availability of vital human resources and the stress on the morale of critical personnel will destroy their commitment to the process of change.

2. Everyone in the organization must be committed and involved. Involvement and support from the highest to the lowest members of the organization are vital.

3. Adequate resources: time and money. This might require additional personnel, some permanent, but many can be employed on a temporary basis or as consultants.

4. The ability to manage change must exist within the organization (Heller and Hindle, 2003). All key players must understand human nature - our innate fear of change and the inertia that this creates.

5. Attitudes must be corrected where necessary: any culture of blame must be eliminated, mistakes must be seen as opportunities for improvement, not events that require scapegoats and punishment. Basically, any element of a "toxic workplace" must be eradicated (Coombs, 2001).

6. A vision of how things should be run to create a positive environment for one's staff as well as focussing on what your "customers" want.

In regard to point 6, remember the discussions on the definition of Quality in Chapter 3 and the change in perspective from being a "product-out" company to a "market-in" company. The organization chart for an IVF Center shown in Figure 13.1 might serve the organization very well in terms of establishing its hierarchy and the lines of authority and responsibility, but the alternate view of the same organization shown in Figure 13.2 eloquently illustrates the change in focus when a "market-in" organization provides its services.

Mercy Health Organization Chart
Figure 13.1 An organization chart for an IVF clinic reflecting the traditional ("product-out") view of its hierarchy, defining lines of authority and responsibility.
Ivf Organization
Figure 13.2 An alternate view of the organization chart for an IVF clinic that is focussed on becoming a "market-in" company, more responsive to the needs of its patients.

ESTABLISH THE GOALS

EDUCATE

EVERYONE \

DESIGN THE PROCESS

BUILD THE TEAMS

DEFINE

BUILD THE TEAMS

DEFINE

Billeder Reflektion Cirkel

NECESSARY

Figure 13.3 A road map of the journey to achieving excellence in the IVF Lab.

NECESSARY

Figure 13.3 A road map of the journey to achieving excellence in the IVF Lab.

Achieving excellence in the IVF lab also requires the scientists who work there to think and act as scientists. As has been seen numerous times throughout this book, scientific method is at the foundation of many of the concepts and approaches used in Quality Management and Risk Management, and so we as scientists should see these areas as logical extensions of our scientific work and their achievement as being based on common sense. A valuable resource that we have found not only highly enjoyable to read, but a wonderful expression of what it takes to be a scientist, is the book by Jack Cohen and Graham Medley entitled Stop Working and Start Thinking: A Guide to Becoming a Scientist (Cohen and Medley, 2000) - everyone working in a lab anywhere should read their "little red book."

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