Newton Medical Center
Newton Medical Center is a 103-bed, not-for-profit facility dedicated to providing healthcare services to counties surrounding Newton, Kansas. When the hospital decided to pursue ISO 9001 registration in 2005, it hired a consultant to help with the preparations. The most urgent need the consultant identified was a way for Newton to control its documents.
A Good Recommendation
Having seen an installation of Qualtrax Compliance Software at another hospital, the consultant recommended that Newton investigate the product. “We actually visited the other hospital,” said Programs Coordinator, Cheryl McCart. “We were impressed with the document control features of Qualtrax as well as the price point. It was very reasonable for a community hospital.”
Ms. McCart, a registered nurse, serves in a quality management role overseeing hospital accreditation and patient satisfaction initiatives. As the ISO management representative, she worked with IT and the Vice President of Patient Services (Nursing) to select Qualtrax as Newton’s compliance software package. Buy-in from Patient Services, Newton’s largest department, was important because of the impact Qualtrax would have on many daily tasks.
Since implementation, Qualtrax has become ingrained in Newton’s operations. “We are very pleased with Qualtrax,” says McCart. “In fact, our biggest return on investment is the level of satisfaction we see in our employees. Its simplicity makes it a great tool.”
Recognizing Value and Potential
Newton Medical received ISO 9001:2000 registration in December 2005. At that time, it was using Qualtrax strictly for maintaining policies and procedures. Today, Ms. McCart says, “Anything that was ever on paper is now in Qualtrax.” This includes all hospital forms, patient education materials, job descriptions, employee manuals, and external references. Having recently finished its first recertification audit, the auditors were impressed with how Qualtrax enables Newton to effectively meet document control requirements.
ISO auditors are not the only ones who appreciate the system, though. Ms. McCart once demonstrated the software for a nearby hospital who asked for guidance on process auditing. Although uninterested in ISO certification, the hospital purchased Qualtrax based on the value it saw in Newton’s use of document control and the potential of automated workflows.
Newton is also able to utilize Qualtrax for its Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) surveys. A process that used to require hours of printing and binding manuals was all but eliminated. During the most recent survey, Ms. McCart sat the surveyors down at workstations and showed them how to locate documents. “They were blown away and so thankful that they did not have to sort through pages and pages of information manually.”
Part of Life
“Qualtrax is as normal as breathing for our 500+ employees,” says McCart. With only 89 assigned logins, Newton benefits from the unlimited number of view-only users Qualtrax allows. “Qualtrax is definitely a good product, especially for a community hospital. It will help anyone who wants to eliminate paper from the workplace.”