Five additional National Health Fund (NHF) Drug Serv pharmacies across the island have been certified to the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS) Standard by the National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ).
These locations are the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston; Spanish Town Hospital, St. Catherine; May Pen Hospital, Clarendon; St. Ann’s Bay Hospital, St. Ann and the St. James Health Centre.
They bring to nine the total number of Drug Servs that have been certified to date. Overall, 14 NHF locations islandwide have been certified to the ISO 9001:2015 QMS.
“We are very happy at the certification,” said Chief Executive Officer of the NHF, Everton Anderson, in a recent interview with JIS News.
‘The aim is to get the top-20 Drug Servs certified over the next three years or so, so it’s an ongoing process,” he added.
The road to receiving certification was not an easy one for the team at the NHF.
“It really involved some detailed review of your processes and standards and benchmarking those against international standards, and then having the staff trained and the processes reviewed to really be functioning at the right level,” Mr. Anderson told JIS News.
He added, “It really was a very involved process led by our quality manager and involving the NCBJ, and we are really pleased that the outcome has resulted in a total of nine drug stores being certified along worth our head office, two warehouses and three customer care help desks that were previously certified.”
Mr. Anderson told JIS News that receiving certification is a good feeling for the organisation, because the NHF is always trying to improve and ISO 9001:2015 Standard focusses on continuous improvement.
“What it means is that we will be able to offer an improved service and the focus and priority will always be on making the process better,” he noted.
“It also means that a larger pool of employees are now trained and are at the level where they can now offer a much better service and can always look at ways that improve the service and the organisation, and we continue to commit to delivering wonderful service to our customers,” he said.
The ISO 9001 QMS is the world’s most popular international standard and focuses on the quality of goods and services produced by an organisation.
Certification to this standard allows entities to significantly improve their processes, procedures and overall profits, and better meet the expectations and needs of their customers.
The certification procedure is undertaken by the NCBJ, which offers this service in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.
The Government is targeting ISO 9001 certification for public sector entities as part of the World Bank-funded Strategic Public Sector Transformation Project.
The objective is to improve the quality of service delivered by ministries, departments and agencies; improve the business environment and attractiveness of Jamaica for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and improve the global competitiveness of the country.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw, in his remarks at the inaugural meeting of the National Quality Policy Council on February 25, said that the Government is working to have between 30 and 40 public-sector entities certified to the ISO 9001:2015 QMS standard by the end of financial year 2021/22.
“[We] are now undergoing an aggressive approval of a number of public-sector [entities] that have already received their ISO 9001 certification, which is a global standard of excellence,” he noted.
Having ISO 9001:2015 QMS certification demonstrates the entities’ commitment to significantly improving their quality of service.