The Essential Core of Quality is based on the question “are you meeting the expectations and requirements of your customers?” is built into the definition of Quality as iterated by Philip Crosby and accepted by the International Organization for Standardization, which is the seat of our country’s Quality framework.
The challenge for laboratorians, is how to measure if our customers view us as meeting their expectation and requirements. You can ask opinions through surveys or find another approach that allows the laboratory to reach the same conclusion, without depending solely on satisfaction surveys.
In CMPT we started with satisfaction surveys, but then broadened the measurement with certain assumptions:
- If we get a strong positive response to a satisfaction survey that is a good measure.
- If participants provide unsolicited positive comments that is a good measure.
- If they continue to work with us even though there are other choices, that is a good measure.
- If they want to broaden our scope of work with them through new or continued contracts that is a good measure.
- If they chose to work with someone else, or cancel contracts, we interpret that as our inability to meeting their needs.
- And if they register a complaint with us that is definite proof of us not meeting their needs.
Every year we gather that information and fit in into a formula, biased to the negative, meaning that we lose points more easily than gain points. We measure our performance year-over-year, and against a scale of exceptional versus unacceptable performance.
A scale has been developed whereby great concern would result if we had a satisfaction survey with an approval score of 70 or if we lost one of more contracts as a result of dissatisfaction.
A satisfaction score of greater than 90 or gaining three or more contracts would raise our composite score above 100 which we would take as evidence of excellence.
We see this as a measure, based on customer opinion complemented by objective measure. And then in the spirit of transparency, we share the results openly in our Annual Management Report.
See the results of our last 17 years.