• How Do I Follow The Trail?

    1 May, 2014 by Jamie Colgin, President, Colgin Consulting, Inc.

    One of the most effective audits I ever participated in started with a systems-naive auditor asking a simple question: "Imagine I'm a sample arriving at your loading dock. What happens to me?" We proceeded down the trail together, following the sample through the processes of accessioning, analysis, reporting, and storage.

    Full story
  • Quality Beliefs Determine Behavior

    29 April, 2014 by Craig Gygi, Executive Vice President Operations, MasterControl Inc.

    A few years back, I helped an international holding company assess the operations of their portfolio of companies. They wanted to know things like, “How Lean is the operation at each company?” “How far along is each company in its Six Sigma improvement journey?” And “What are the common opportunities and strengths we can build upon?” I visited company sites, reviewed operation activities, collected data, and interviewed executives and staff. I found that in many ways, the foundation for excellence in operations can be boiled down to a single, simple question: “How do you define quality?”

    Full story
  • Conducting an Effective Failure Investigation: Going Deep Enough to Hit Root Cause

    24 April, 2014 by Christine Park, Quality Architech, Christine Park & Associates

    The FDA has increased focus on the effectiveness of failure investigations during recent inspections. A review of recent 483 observations and warning letters clearly demonstrate the agency’s current concern about the adequacy of failure investigations to really identify root cause.

    Full story
  • Principles of Lean Documents

    22 April, 2014 by José Ignacio Mora, Owner, Atzari Enterprises, L.L.C.

    Many would chuckle at this story as a simplistic analogy.  Yet, there are many lessons from this example that could apply to a medical device facility.  No, it’s not a controlled document in the sense most understand it.  But the owner would not want it to be this morning’s breakfast menu during dinner, or to display last year’s prices.  Nor would she want it to show meal options that are not available.

    Full story
  • Change Control and Its Role in Continuous Quality Improvement

    17 April, 2014 by Lisa Weeks, Marketing Communications, MasterControl Inc.

    The ability to adapt to change is critical to the success of any business. However, for companies that operate in FDA-regulated or ISO-certified environments, adapting to change and more importantly, being able to control it, is critical to maintaining compliance. Of course, it’s not just regulatory agencies that are demanding higher-quality products; today’s more sophisticated consumers expect the medicines, automobiles, and devices they purchase to be safe and effective, too. They also expect them to cost less and be developed more quickly and efficiently. Better, safer, faster, cheaper…it’s a tall order for any regulated company. Organizations that respond quickly to increased regulation and consumer sophistication will become inherent market leaders. How does your company respond to change?

    Full story
  • Report from MD&M West Conference: Navigating through the PMA and 510(K) Submission Processes

    15 April, 2014 by Peter Knauer, Senior QCC Consultant, MasterControl Inc.

    I recently had the opportunity to chair a track and present a session on FDA and a Global Regulation in Practice at the MD&M West Conferen Trouble-Free Validation with MasterControl (1:38)ce. The conference was held at the Anaheim a Convention Center from Monday, February 10th through Thursday February 13th, 2014. Below is a summary of the proceedings for Day 2: NAVIGATING THROUGH THE PMA AND 510(K) SUBMISSION PROCESSES.

    Full story
  • Demystifying FDA/CDRH Appeals Process

    3 April, 2014 by David Lim, President and Principal of Regulatory Doctor and Yoonhee Beatty, Regulatory Affairs Associate, Bard Access Systems, Inc.

    We present a summary of available options to request additional review of FDA decisions or actions, including how to choose an option when a stakeholder has reasonable grounds to disagree with FDA/CDRH’s decision. It is worthwhile to note and get familiarized with the available options. However, it is recommended the stakeholder try to avoid having such situations in the first place.

    Full story
  • Making SMART Choices When Managing Quality Events: More Helpful CAPA Tips

    2 April, 2014 by James Jardine, Marketing Communications, MasterControl Inc.

    A previous blog post provided an overview of a portion of quality guru Ken Peterson’s “Taking Effective Action” webinar (the second of a three-part series) that outlines the keys to successful CAPA programs. This post summarizes the remainder of the second webinar in the series which can be viewed here.

    Full story
  • MasterControl 's Ken Peterson and Patricia Santos-Serrao Featured SQA Speakers

    1 April, 2014 by Robyn Barnes, Marketing Communications, MasterControl Inc.

    MasterControl will provide demonstrations of its document management and quality management solutions at the 30th Society for Quality Assurance (SQA) Annual Meeting to be held April 6-11, 2014 at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Full story
  • Changing Supplier Controls Requirements

    26 March, 2014 by John E. Lincoln, J.E. Lincoln and Associates

    Companies that choose to produce medical products come under the regulatory laws of the countries in which they market their products. For the U.S., this falls under the purview of the U.S. FDA, with its CGMPs, “Current [best practices] Good Manufacturing Practices”, as codified in 21 CFR 4, Combination Products, 21 CFR 111, Dietary Supplements, 21 CFR 211, Pharmaceuticals, and 21 CFR 820, Medical Devices, and others.

    Full story
  • Taking Effective Actions: CAPA Webinar Part 2

    25 March, 2014 by James Jardine, Marketing Communications, MasterControl Inc.

    In the second webinar of a three-part series from MasterControl, quality expert Ken Peterson demonstrates how companies can develop better corrective and preventive actions (CAPA) to ensure quality and compliance. In the second installment, Peterson focuses on key decision points and the types of actions that should be taken depending on the quality event. He points out the importance of containing issues at the department level, if possible, before moving them into a formal CAPA process. Peterson discusses four possible actions to be taken when dealing with quality events: no action (the “wait and see” approach), corrections (with a focus on the immediate situation or containment), corrective actions, and preventive actions (to preemptively deter issues from occurring in the future).

    Full story
  • An Introduction to Metrics Collection and Usage

    20 March, 2014 by Christopher Ball, Senior Professional Services Consultant, MasterControl Inc.

    Most companies understand that the collection of data can be valuable but often don’t really rationalize what they want to collect.

    Full story
  • Making the Business Case for Implementing an Electronic QMS

    18 March, 2014 by Lisa Weeks, MasterControl Inc., Marketing Communications

    In a tough economy, quality professions often find themselves having to convince management that swapping their paper-based QMS for an electronic one is worthy of the expense and will translate into bottom-line, as well as compliance, benefits. While the regulatory and legal drivers for automating your quality processes are irrefutable, the frequently overlooked operational and business opportunities enjoyed by organizations that implement an electronic QMS are equally compelling. Simply put: compliance is good for business, and the right QMS software can help you transform your compliance challenges into tangible business advantages.

    Full story
  • Sound Risk-Based Decision Making in Process Validation

    13 March, 2014 by Robyn Barnes, Marketing Communications, MasterControl Inc.

    There were so many people everywhere you went that it felt like a real crush. I’ve got to tell you that a foot massage every night would have been really useful. “

    Full story
  • Four Team Members to Include When Building Your Software Implementation Dream Team (and Two to Avoid)

    11 March, 2014 by Stephanie Jones, Professional Services Consultant, MasterControl Inc.

    According to a study by Gartner Research, nearly four in ten major software purchases end up as “shelfware,” i.e., software that is purchased and never implemented or only marginally configured and/or deployed. Why? Often, it is because of the application itself or the perceived unresponsiveness of the software vendor’s implementation consultants. Rather than compromise efficiency, or redesign proven processes which took years to develop and implement, an organization will opt to delay or abando

    Full story
  • Food Safety is a Matter of Degree

    7 March, 2014 by Robyn Barnes, Public Relations Specialist, MasterControl Inc.

    Global Food Safety Conference 2014 kicked off recently in Anaheim, California with a record-breaking attendance. It seems that everyone is concerned about the condition of the food they eat, if they have it to eat.

    Full story
  • More Helpful Quality Event Management Tips from MasterControl CAPA Presentation

    5 March, 2014 by James Jardine, Marketing Communications, MasterControl Inc.

    A previous post to this blog covered some of the highlights of a recorded MasterControl webinar that discusses best practices for corrective and preventive action (CAPA) systems. The free recording is presented by quality expert Ken Peterson, a prominent consultant who has decades of experience with risk management, customer service, and CAPA systems. Peterson has devoted his quality expertise to a long list of successful companies such as Pfizer, Abbott Laboratories, Kodak, and IBM.

    Full story
  • Be SMART: 5 Critical Factors in CAPA

    4 March, 2014 by Cindy Fazzi, Marketing Communications Specialist, MasterControl Inc.

    It’s not enough to come up with a corrective action for a quality event. It’s critical to have the right action that actually fixes the problem and prevents it from recurring.

    Full story
  • Quality Event Management: Free Recorded Webinar Shows How a Closed-loop Methodology Can Improve CAPA Systems

    27 February, 2014 by James Jardine, Marketing Communications, MasterControl Inc.

    Quality guru Ken Peterson has dedicated his career to helping organizations like Abbott Laboratories, Kodak, and IBM devise better quality management solutions that allow them to maximize efficiency and resolve problems faster. In the first of a three-part series of complimentary webinars available from MasterControl, Peterson breaks down quality management into three distinct segments: quality events, issue review, and corrective and preventive actions (CAPA). You can view the free webinar in its entirety here. No registration is required to access the recorded presentation—just click and play!

    Full story
  • What Does the New FDA Guidance on Electronic Submissions Mean?

    25 February, 2014 by Cindy Fazzi, Marketing Communications, MasterControl Inc.

    Two years after the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) became law, the FDA has taken a step forward in requiring electronic submissions under FDASIA. Do you know how this new requirement is going to affect your submissions?

    Full story