• Three Things I’ve Learned about Quality Professionals

    26 August, 2015 Jon Beckstrand, CEO, MasterControl Inc.

    Over the past 15 years, as the leader of an organization dedicated to improving the success of the quality profession, I have met hundreds of people throughout the world who have a unique mission: build greater quality into the things we use every day. I have often asked myself, what do all these people have in common? What makes someone choose to dedicate his or her career to improving quality? Who are these people who dedicate their lives to making sure that things are done right, that we don’t skip critical steps? Whether it’s making sure that you aren’t using yesterday’s version of a work instruction or that you are trained properly on changes crucial to the implementation of a corrective action, quality professionals are ever vigilant about maintaining quality standards and compliance.

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  • The CAPA Detective

    3 September, 2015 Laurie Meehan, Social Media Manager, Polaris Compliance Consultants

    Every industry has its detectives. Mechanics and journalists hunt for leaks. Software testers and security experts look for bugs. Meteorologists, defense strategists, and forensic accountants all look for trouble brewing off shore. The level of intrigue may vary.

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  • Building Forms for Regulated Environments: Top 10 Best Practices

    8 September, 2015 Cindy Fazzi, Editor, MasterControl Insider

    Whether you’re applying for a job or a loan, or registering for a conference or membership in some organization, there’s one thing you must do—fill out a form. We can’t live without forms. In regulated environments, they are even more crucial because they can affect regulatory compliance.

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  • 6 Steps to Simplify Software Validation

    10 September, 2015 Kevin Ballard, Director of Software Validation, MasterControl

    Validation is one of the most time-consuming and resource-intensive activities when implementing eQMS software in a regulated environment, often delaying implementation and an organization’s ability to go live with new software.

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  • Multipurpose Tool vs. Best-of-Breed Platform: How to Tell the Difference

    15 September, 2015 Paul Sanderson, Solutions Consultants Group Lead

    When we invest in tools, we naturally want the most bang for our buck. Who hasn’t tried to use a screwdriver as a pry bar or a pair of pliers for loosening a bolt when a properly sized wrench would be more appropriate?

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  • Hacking GMPs: Deliberate Attacks or Accidental Workarounds?

    17 September, 2015 Vivian Bringslimark, President & Owner, HPIS Consulting, Inc.

    The subtitle tells it all. Most employees don’t come to work with the intention to cause harm, fail or make mistakes intentionally. Yet mistakes, errors, and failures happen. According to Sidney Dekker, author of The Field Guide to Understanding Human Error, “mismatches between written guidance and operational practice always exist”. I’s due to “the amount of increasingly tight constraints of procedures” (p.8). There have been some occasions where following a procedure could have caused a deviation if it weren’t for an astute technician who questioned the “GMP” rule. Talk about a GMP dilemma, “always follow the SOP” but don’t create a deviation either. Alas, we have a classic example of a white hat hacker.

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  • Quality Audit: The Direct Route to Continuous Improvement

    6 October, 2015 Beth Pedersen, Marketing Communications Specialist, MasterControl

    If your organization is GxP-regulated or ISO-certified, you are no stranger to the burdens of audit. The regulations and standards that govern your operations change often, and yet you must somehow manage to understand and comply with them – and be able to clearly demonstrate your compliance – at all times.

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  • Personal PDCA and How I Learned It

    15 October, 2015 Mark Reich, Chief Operations Officer, Lean Enterprise Institute

    In 23 years at Toyota, I had many assignments and different bosses, I managed many people, but a constant part of the culture was what I’ve come to call “personal PDCA” – a kind of mentored self-development cycle. When it comes to personal PDCA, my first problem solving experience during my first-ever assignment in Japan stands out for me.

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  • Trust is Not Just Nice, It’s the Key to Your Success

    19 October, 2015 Cindy Fazzi, Staff Writer

    Whether you’re a quality professional responsible for your system implementation or a CEO getting ready to launch a medical device startup, Stephen M.R. Covey believes there’s one thing you need to succeed—trust. “Trust is an economic driver, not merely a social virtue,” he said in his keynote address at the 2015 Masters Summit.

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  • 6 Traits You Should Develop to Become an Exceptional Quality Pro

    22 October, 2015 Cindy Fazzi, Editor, MasterControl Insider

    In a regulated company, quality professionals may be revered or dreaded or downright misunderstood. But there’s no denying their important role. As quality guru Joseph Juran said, all improvement happens project by project and in no other way. To paraphrase Juran, I would say a high-quality product or service happens step by step and process by process. Guess who’s responsible for making sure every step and every process is working effectively? You got that right—quality pros.

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  • How Donald Trump and/or Hillary Clinton Would “CAPA the USA” if Elected in 2016

    3 November, 2015 Marci Crane, Marketing Communications, MasterControl

    Although a long list of candidates make up the list of “eligibles” for the 2016 Presidential election, it’s fairly apparent that the two most conspicuous candidates are, respectively, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. These two candidates, though liked and disliked by various population pockets across the United States, have certainly managed to make names for themselves within their various areas of expertise.

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  • Why Every Business Needs to Make ISO Certification a Priority in 2015/2016

    10 November, 2015 Stuart Patch, Content Writer, Compass Assurance Services; info@compassassurance.com.au

    There are many benefits for organisations gaining certification and for those organisations that are currently certified, ensuring those benefits continue to be realised is very important. Below I look at the benefits of certification and also what are the benefits of keeping abreast of upcoming changes in standards.

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  • eTMF Management: Don’t Settle for a One-Trick Pony!

    12 November, 2015 Patricia Santos-Serrao, MasterControl's Market Segment Manager, Global Pharmaceutical, Blood & Biologics

    Organizations searching for an electronic trial master file (eTMF) solution are likely to stumble upon various vendors claiming to be the “industry leader in eTMF” or some variation of this statement. With so many vendors claiming to be leaders, what does that mean to be a leader in eTMF? Should it factor into my decision as I evaluate and choose a solution for my organization? The answers to that question may not be a clear cut as one may think.

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  • 9 Crazy Cousins You Probably Shouldn’t Invite to This Year’s Thanksgiving Dinner and 9 Reasons You Could Invite SCORM (Compliance) Instead

    19 November, 2015 Marci Crane, Localization Manager, MasterControl

    Thanksgiving in the USA is a wonderful time of year when we are reminded of everything that we have and how lucky we are to have it. We express our gratitude for what we have, where we live and those we love.

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  • Inspection Readiness: Leveraging Inspection Focus Areas and Increasing the Transparency of Investigator Oversight

    1 December, 2015 Jessica Masarek, Quality Assurance Consultant | Independent Auditor Director, Muse Clinical

    Audits and inspections seem to be wrapped in a shroud of mystery, making folks stressed and unsure of exactly what is going to happen. What if I say the wrong thing? What if I don’t know the answer? What if I can’t provide what they are asking for? Realistically, all of these things will probably happen! That said, as long as you are honest, all will be well. Mistakes happen and no auditor or inspector is expecting perfection. We are expecting transparency. As an auditor, my goal is to confirm that the trial is run in a way that ensures the safety of subjects, protects their rights, and generates reliable data. Sponsors want to continue working with sites in which so much effort has been invested and will work to identify areas for improvement if deficiencies are noted. An inspector has a similar goal with respect to the assessment of trial conduct. So, how do we ensure that trials are run at the level of quality that regulators are looking for and that are truly inspection ready?

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  • Using Quality by Design to Improve Manufacturing

    22 December, 2015 Ronald D. Snee, PhD Snee Associates, LLC

    Much of the literature on quality by design (QbD) has focused on the creation of the “Design Space” (ICH 2009) which is the combination of levels of the critical process parameters that produces in-specification product. Design space creation is critical but a process control strategy is also essential and is an integral part of QbD. Stage 3 of the FDA Process Validation Guidance calls for “Continued Process Verification” (CPV), or continually verifying the process is doing what it is supposed to do throughout the life of the product (FDA 2011, Snee 2015). Also if we are to be effective in using life cycle management to manage the process over time. we must have a process management system in place that integrates both process control and process improvement (Snee and Gardner 2008, Snee 2010b).

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  • A Season for Giving That Lasts All Year

    23 December, 2015 Beth Pedersen, Marketing Communications Specialist, MasterControl

    We all feel it this time of year. As temperatures drop and snowflakes swirl, lights and festive decorations illuminate the long, dark nights, and names are diligently checked off seemingly endless shopping lists, we know that the holiday season is upon us. In spite of the stress that can accompany the holidays – the long lines, the gift wrapping, the social obligations – this time of year marks a widespread urge to give: to family, to friends, even to those we’ve never even met. We all feel it, this intangible, albeit very real, spirit of giving.

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  • Big Changes for ICH GCP & EU Regulations

    31 December, 2015 Laurie Meehan, Social Media Manager, Polaris Compliance Consultants

    The most substantial change to international guidelines in 20 years occurred earlier this year when the ICH* issued a draft addendum to its GCP guidelines, ICH E6(R2).

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  • How to Respond to FDA Inspection Observations, Including Those You Dispute

    26 January, 2016 Martin Browning, President, EduQuest, Inc.: FDA expert investigator and rule-maker for 22 years

    Although FDA is strapped with limited resources and competing priorities, the Agency continues to hammer regulated companies with FDA 483 inspection observations and Warning Letters.

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  • One Q & a Lotta A’s about SOPs for Research Sites

    2 February, 2016 Laurie Meehan, Social Media Manager, Polaris Compliance Consultants, Inc.

    “What are your thoughts about having SOPs for clinical research sites versus having working guidelines in lieu of SOPs?”

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