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    Top 10 Takeaways from MD&M West 2018

    I recently attended the 2018 MD&M West conference, Feb. 5 – 7, in Anaheim, California. The three-day event pulled together the medical device industry’s top engineering, design and regulatory compliance experts. This year’s conference covered the most timely and pressing topics, including technology, cybersecurity, design control, digital health and regulatory updates.

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    Death by Risk-Based Approach: The Practical Guide to the ISO 13485:2016 Practical Guide, Part 3

    This is the third post in the series, “The Practical Guide to the ISO 13485:2016 Practical Guide” for medical devices. This post explores examples and application provided within Practical Guide for the implementation of a “risk-based approach.”

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    February Tip: Continuous Employee Training Reduces Deviations and Nonconformances

    This blog post is part of an ongoing series to provide the latest tips from experts in the field to help readers keep up with changes in the quality and regulatory industry .

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    January Tip: How to Choose and Use External Consultants

    External consulting firms can be used to provide expert help for many of the standard responsibilities that the quality department is tasked with. These external organizations are ready to provide you with the necessary documents to get on your approved supplier list, and can jump into work at various stages. Look for organizations that have specialized experience in the area(s) you are looking for and they can quickly and effectively help.

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    Ensuring Quality In Medical Device Trials

    Manufacturers have used a quality systems approach to ensure consistency within their processes for years, but the FDA is now encouraging clinical researchers to take a similar approach to medical device trials.

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    Software as a Medical Device: What Does It Mean and Why Should I Care?

    A little over a year ago, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) released its draft guidance (1) regarding a newer, skyrocketing segment of the medical device industry—that of Software as a Medical Device (SaMD). The guidance means to address the emergence of thousands of stand-alone, health-oriented software apps that fall into a gray area in terms of regulation. Obviously, SaMDs aren’t traditional medical devices, but neither are they Pokémon Go.

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    Good Communication Skills are Key for Inspection Readiness

    When an FDA inspector comes to your door, it is usually a time of stress and uncertainty. You need to handle logistical elements like where the inspectors are going to be placed, how you.

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  • Avoiding CAPA Pitfalls: 10 Tips from a Food Industry Quality Expert

    At a recent ASQ Salt Lake Section symposium held at the headquarters of quality management software solutions provider

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    Regulatory Strategies for AI and Emerging Technologies

    Insights on working with regulatory bodies on novel devices such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and algorithms.

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  • Developing a Quality System on a Managed Budget

    Developing a quality system is the foundation for ensuring the organization’s products or services are safe, effective and controlled to deliver customer satisfaction. Throughout the organization’s lifecycle, from start-up through maturity, the quality needs of the firm, along with its budget constraints, are continually evolving. Maintaining compliance with regulations while controlling costs represents a challenging balancing act we encounter in our life science consultancy.

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  • Training Does Not Stand Alone: The Quest for Training Effectiveness Continues

    While training may appear to be straightforward to most leaders, the effectiveness follow up is anything but clear-cut. So why do business leaders frown when the answer to the training effectiveness question is – it depends?

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  • The 15 Strangest Phobias and Why They Include the Fear of Paper

    It’s difficult to label any phobia as the “strangest” because most phobias are considered kooky, weird or downright bizarre. Phobias are also nearly impossible to understand with the logical mind – they just don’t seem to make sense! However, for those experiencing a true phobia, logic doesn’t make one bit of difference. The terror is still alive and well.

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    What is a Document Management System and 8 Reasons Your Company Probably Needs One

    A document management system is a software solution that allows for the digital management of documentation. Today most documentation managed by document management systems is business-related.

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    "We're Different!" Overcoming the Challenges of Applying Lean Principles to Knowledge Work

    If you are applying lean management principles to R and D, life science, or other knowledge work processes, you’ve probably heard the "we're different” argument. It usually goes something like this, “You can’t apply lean process improvement techniques to creative work because everything we do varies."

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    Failure Investigation: Treating the Root Cause, Not the Symptoms

    Why should medical device manufacturers perform failure investigations? One reason is that it is a regulatory requirement. The Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR 820) in areas such as Non-Conforming Product, Corrective and Preventive Action and Complaint Files describes the requirements for failure investigations. Performing effective failure investigations is also good business practice which can lead to reduction in scrap and rework, process improvements and the elimination of recurring issue

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  • Process Validation for Medical Devices

    Process validation is an essential part of medical device manufacturing but doesn't always receive the attention it deserves (and requires). The regulations provide the requirements (FDA QSR 820.75 and ISO 13485 7.5.2), but often manufacturers don't completely understand them and don't fully implement them. The consequences can be audit findings from a Notified Body or Inspectional Observations on an FDA 483.

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  • How to Practice Quality Management in Your Personal Life

    “Quality management” is one of those terms that sounds so simple and esoteric at the same time, like DNA or free cash flow. I’m pretty sure I know what those terms mean until I start explaining them to someone. 

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  • The Most Important Four-Letter Words in ISO 9001:2015

    Most organizations are well under way with the transition to the new ISO 9001:2015.  As such you should be very familiar with the emphasis on two four-letter words found throughout the document ….

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  • How to Lead with Respect

    “Over time I’ve come to realize that engaging in this problem-solving process is actually the highest form of respect….The manager truly respects the employee’s knowledge and his or her dedication to finding the best answer….Only by showing mutual respect-- each for the other and for each other’s role-- is it possible to solve problems, make work more satisfying, and move organizational performance to an ever-higher level.”

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    GCP Compliance: Eliminating Silos between Clinical Quality and Clinical Operations

    In a classic episode of Seinfeld, George Costanza is terrified of the potential ramifications of his “worlds colliding” when his fiancée, Susan, becomes friendlier with his dubious pals Elaine, Kramer and Jerry. “Everybody knows you’ve got to keep your worlds apart,” George rants (but when does George not rant?) “If Susan is allowed to infiltrate this world then George Costanza as you know him ceases to exist. If Relationship George walks through this door, he will kill Independent George! A George divided against itself cannot stand!”

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