written by Maree Stuart
Finally achieving the ‘holy grail’ of NATA accreditation might be your resolution for 2023. Problem is, you don’t know where to start. And we’re more than half-way through the year!
You might have even started down the path of NATA accreditation and are stuck. And if you’re a medical lab, now you’ve heard there’s a new version of ISO 15189 and are worried you’ll have to start over!
Or maybe you already have accreditation and feel like you’re in a maze and there’s no way out.
Maybe it’s simply that things need to change and you don’t know where to start! What should you do?
Getting the right person for the job
There are a few options that you can investigate. You can do it yourself, seek help from a consultant, or something in between. It all depends on your budget, internal resources, time and difficulty of the problem.
Doing it yourself
Be prepared to invest time and effort in developing, redesigning and implementing systems if you decide to do it yourself.
You might be in the fortunate position of having staff who have taken on this project in the past. However, it’s important to factor in whether this is the best use of resources. Is your time, or that of your staff, better spent working in the business instead of on the business?
Buying off-the-shelf systems can be a helpful option if you know what you want to get out of your system. You will need to put in some time to customise the generic information provided in these products. However, you could also find that the systems offered in these products are too complicated for your needs. Or they may not quite suit how your lab has been set up.
You might already have some documents and systems in place, but you have to buy the complete package which seems like a waste.
You’ll need to weigh up the upfront costs of these products with the time and resources needed to make the system fit your needs and accreditation requirements.
Using a consultant
Engaging a consultant to help you to work through the problem is a great option. This is especially true if you are time-poor or have limited experience in accreditation.
A consultant can bring loads of expertise and ideas for creating a system that will suit your needs. It need not be as expensive as you think: at MAS Management Systems, a simple gap analysis to give you a plan through the NATA Accreditation maze usually costs less than $1000.
A consultant should also be able to provide you with just the services you need. Whether it’s developing and writing documents, revamping your existing systems, providing training in accreditation requirements or conducting internal audits, the decision is yours.
There are a few things you should do when engaging a consultant. You should be clear on what you want to achieve and by when. The Consultant should have a good track record of success. They might also be able to tell you when things didn’t work out well with clients and how this was handled.
Working out how you can achieve your goal
Getting the right person or people for the job is only half the task. You’ll have to also tackle the challenge of solving the NATA maze.
We’ve recently written some general advice on how to work through the process. You can read our article here.
Our tips on how you can achieve your goals are simple: break it down to it’s sub-components then develop your plan. Those sub-components can be things like:
- having the right equipment that is calibrated;
- having competent people performing the work;
- having documents or other materials to explain how activities are to be done;
- developing records that capture all the activities that have been done.
How can we help?
At MAS Management Systems, we listen to your needs and assist you to identify where you need some extra help to achieve your goals.
If you’re not sure which way to go, we offer a free, confidential service to help you decide which way to turn.
So don’t feel like you’re a rat trapped in a maze – contact us now to get some help!
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