Repromed is one of New Zealand’s leading fertility clinics. Offering world-class technology and highly qualified and experienced staff, Repromed meets the highest level of independent global and national quality standards.
Embryologist Dr Debbie Blake has more than 30 years’ experience in fertility. She joined Repromed in 2015 as Quality Manager and, one year later, she also embraced the role of Scientific Director.
Moving from ISO non-compliance
Every year, we’re audited by Australasian fertility auditors Global-Mark and in 2016, when we upgraded to the new ISO 9001 standard, risk management was the big new requirement and buzz word. We were struggling with document control and we had no system in place to formally manage risk. Our patient management system had a rudimentary feedback system—for non-compliances and events—and it was becoming more and more difficult to link feedbacks with improvements.
An auditor said Logiqc was worth considering, for other modules as well. I looked into it and was quite excited—we liked that it is in the cloud, we liked the pricing structure, we liked the way the data was managed and collected. And they did a fabulous presentation to us, both online and in person. So we decided to first give it a go with document control and risk management modules.
Linking feedback, improvements and standards
Document management solved an immediate problem for us and is the thing we use most, every day. The next biggest benefit for us is management of feedback and incidents, linking these to improvements, and then to accreditation standards.
We quickly realised we could get other regulatory standards into Logiqc, not just ISO. RTAC is the code of practice for assisted reproductive technology in Australasia and the team at Logiqc wrote up these standards especially for us. Then we were able to link standards with risk, and it all started to make sense.
Remote auditing during COVID-19
The Logiqc team are really approachable and enthusiastic, and that comes through in the design of the system. They really get it; they understand what auditors want.
When our auditors said we could give them access to Logiqc a month before the audit, to show how we are complying, that was just amazing. We were, like, “WOW!”
During COVID-19, we were one of the few clinics that said, if the auditors can’t come [to us], then we are ready to be audited remotely. Unfortunately, this didn’t go ahead because the Fertility Society of Australia preferred the option to delay all clinic audits by up to a year.
Upgrading to LogiqcQMS V6
We upgraded to version 6 of LogiqcQMS over a year ago and we’re super happy we did. It is a lot more intuitive, which has improved staff uptake of the system. The dashboard is visually appealing, and the analytics function is also very cool.
[My colleague] Kate was responsible for implementing the upgrade and when she was going on extended leave, we thought, how will we cope without her? But because she had done all the hard work, it just requires myself and a part-time person to keep it ticking over—in fact, it’s being utilised and relied upon by staff more than ever.
Having an in-house Logiqc expert
It’s been quite a gradual process inducting staff into LogiqcQMS. As with any new system, it takes an expert in people skills to achieve a robust uptake from staff. [My colleague] Kate was integral in the early stages and was such a champion for enrolling people to engage with the training and ongoing use of the system.
Not everyone in the business is trained yet on incidents and feedbacks. Given the volume of clinical commitments of most of our staff, we made a decision to only train heads of departments initially in this module, which seems to be working well so far.
What works well for us, is having a key in-house expert who really understands how all the modules are connected. The initial set up of the system—entering in the risks and linking these with records, policies, procedures and, especially, the regulatory standards—did indeed take several weeks of work by some of our very capable staff. But once it’s done, it never needs doing again, other than small updates.
Reaping the benefits
Now that we’ve put in all the hard work, we’re reaping the benefits. We can provide evidence of considering feedback, making improvements, auditing, maybe making more improvements, then closing it off. We can show auditors the entire feedback loop, including the necessary evidence that our business is complying with policies, procedures and standards.
LogiqcQMS adds tremendous value to our business. We’re huge supporters. I look back now and don’t know how any high quality and regulated business could operate without it. It really takes you to the next level.