Purpose - To describe how The Red Cross Hospital in Beverwijk, The Netherlands implemented an ISO 9000 quality management system throughout the entire organisation, obtained an ISO 9002:1994 and subsequently an ISO 9001:2000 certificate. Design/methodology/approach - First, a global implementation plan was written concerning the process obtaining in each department. Once improved, each process was subjected to a procedure, and specific protocols effected. On completion the Quality Manual was put together. Quality management was completed by implementing an internal audit system involving 50 co-workers. Findings - A number of advantages are found from using ISO. The focus on patients has been re-established. All processes are identified and subject to continuous improvement. Performance measurements were introduced and give an integrated picture of results. Measurements subsequently lead to improvement of quality of care and to quality system improvements. The documentation system serves the organization's needs without leading to bureaucracy. Positive effects on patient safety could be demonstrated compared with ten other hospitals. Originality/value - Given the need for adequate quality management tools in health care and the need for demonstrating quality, the positive effects reported in this article show how ISO is expected to become more prevalent in health-care organisations.

Hospitals, ISO 9000 series, Quality management, Quality standards
dx.doi.org/10.1108/09526860510612216, hdl.handle.net/1765/67990
International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance
Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

van den Heuvel, J, Koning, L, Bogers, A.J.J.C, Berg, M, & van Dijen, M.E.M. (2005). An ISO 9001 quality management system in a hospital: Bureaucracy or just benefits?. International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 18(5), 361–369. doi:10.1108/09526860510612216