The Quality Department of MRC Unit The Gambia recently launched 2017’s World Quality Month (WQM) under the theme ‘Teamwork Makes the Vision Work. November is the month chosen to celebrate QUALITY! In 1960 the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) started celebrating quality. Over the years, Asian and European nations, the US, Canada and South Africa joined in the celebrations. According to the American Society for Quality (ASQ), “The purpose of World Quality Month is to promote the use of quality tools in businesses and communities. Quality tools, such as flowcharts and checklists, reduce mistakes and help produce superior products. Quality principles can reduce headline-making errors, like food safety, toy recalls, and financial disruptions. World Quality Month calls on people who use quality tools to share their knowledge by submitting their stories to illustrate the value of quality principles.” (ASQ Source)
Since 2013, the Quality Management department at MRCG has been celebrating quality month. The objective in 2017 is to promote awareness of quality by emphasizing the importance of teamwork and continuous improvement. Activities lined up spanned out for a week, starting with World Quality Day, the second Thursday in November.
On 9th November, MRCG members in Basse, Keneba and Fajara sites participated in an awareness campaign titled #QualityMeansToMe. Staff from various departments across the Unit were provided with placards to provide definitions of what quality means to them in their areas of work. Photos of staff and their wonderful definitions were taken. The Quality Team received about 100 definitions! It was an exciting activity that created a lot of buzz. Staff involved enjoyed it whilst still reflecting on what quality means to them in delivering excellent research and clinical care. The photos taken were made into slides and showcased on Quality Week Exhibition Day.
On Exhibition Day, the Quality team planned for an informative and interactive session for everyone who visited the booth. During the exhibition, the Quality team showcased the slideshow of MRCG members and their definitions; a video titled the Cost of Poor Quality, which is available on Youtube was featured; and information about the department’s history of events since inception was also available.
View all photos here (internal link only)
To drive the theme’s message, the Quality team organized and played a game with visitors to the booth. The game was called Process Connections. This mimicked the process flow of research delivery whilst promoting quality principles such as teamwork, improvement and compliance to procedures. In addition, there was a quality trivia competition. Staff were given four (4) questions about the Unit’s Quality Management System (QMS). The top 3 winners of the trivia were awarded with free lunch at Berep-bi. Lastly, during World Quality Month, the Quality department is running a Process Improvement Challenge. Teams of staff registered during the exhibition. The challenge is still open; please see the information below about registration.
Finally, the team launched their new Quality Concerns Communication System (QCOMS) and presented this last Friday during the Unit’s seminar hour. For any quality issues/concerns you want addressed or corrected, please communicate using the web-based system from this link:
To get involved, the Quality department encourages staff to participate in the Process Improvement Challenge which is open until November 30th. To do so, work with a team to identify a process or service you would like improved. Staff can work with their Line Managers or project PIs to develop an improvement plan. This will encourage engagement in positive debate between all levels of staff. Submit improvement plans to the Quality team by email at Suggs&Feedback@mrc.gm or drop off at the quality office or in any of the suggestion boxes across the camp. Teams with the most significant improvement wins an award. You can consider improvements that will result in cost savings and efficiency for your area and are still quality-focused.
Quality is officially celebrated in November; however it should be practised every day! For this reason, #QualityMeansToMe; “A non-stop journey towards excellence!” – YLNB.
Enjoy videos and pictures from the quality week by clicking on the links below: