Department Wins International Recognition
12 June 2009
West Suffolk Hospital's Information Management and Technology team has achieved internationally recognised accreditation for consistently providing a high quality service which meets the needs of the trust's 2,500 IT users.
The IM&T department has been awarded the highly prestigious International Standards Organisation 9001 accreditation following a rigorous assessment by external auditors. It is among only a handful of NHS IM&T teams across the country to win the coveted recognition.
The accreditation means the department, which is responsible for maintaining large quantities of state-of-the-art technology, is meeting the highest possible management standards and can now carry a special kite mark on all of its communications. To retain the kite mark, staff will need to demonstrate they have maintained their performance and made improvements wherever necessary during yearly external audits.
"We are delighted to have achieved this world-renowned accreditation, which is a testament to the hard work our IM&T staff have put into making sure the services we offer are as good as they possible can be," said Nick McDonnell, head of IM&T at West Suffolk Hospital.
"The standard is usually given to commercial organisations such as manufacturing companies. It is extremely rare for a hospital IM&T department to achieve it -- but is also extremely gratifying as it shows we are employing the best possible practices in our day-to-day work.
"It is essential that we have robust procedures in place for dealing with any IT problems which arise quickly and effectively as there is so much technology used in modern healthcare to support patient care. The processes are naturally underpinned through the department's own performance management system to ensure the optimum service continues to be delivered at all times. This accreditation shows we have the right workforce and tools to meet those demands.
"Over the coming months we will build on this success by looking for ways to improve still further to ensure we continue provide the best possible service in years to come."
The hospital achieved the standard following six months of hard work from project lead Martin Crane, who looked closely at everything the department does to find ways of improving, developing a comprehensive Quality Manual and procedures as well as analysing performance information against a set of tough targets. Monthly sample surveys with those using the service have also taken place, and have shown their expectations and needs are being met while benefits are being realised from the improved workflow.