RS10. Total Quality Management for Evaluation and Improvement of Bio-Repository Performance, Tissue Collection and Customer-Focused Initiatives, B. Zivak, K. Washington, K. Wiles

VUMC Cooperative Human Tissue Network, Nashville, TN, United States of America

Background: The Cooperative Human Tissue Network Western Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (CHTN-VUMC), a federally funded service oriented grant that provides high quality human specimens to the research community, has adopted the basic concept of Total Quality Management (TQM) as a system of methods and best practices to foster a culture of quality and continuous improvement. TQM is structured based on integration of principles and methods that provide a framework for organizational excellence and customer focus. Methods: CHTN-VUMC has succeeded in analyzing and capturing trend data with biospecimen collection, consistency in shipping quality, and investigator (customer) satisfaction with the CHTN-VUMC donor portal. Various aspects of TQM were employed, along with the utilization of process management, methods analysis, quality planning and assurance. Employee involvement and participation, action plan development, and process improvement all served to maintain integrity from input to output. Results: CHTN-VUMC has tracked Quality Assessment/Quality Control (QA/QC) data for specimens, as well as investigator satisfaction with both shipment quality and pathology report retrieval via the donor portal. Through TQM implementation, investigator-driven improvements led to the employment of the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, investigator portal development and enhancement, a more efficient pathology report retrieval method and a more intelligent specimen collection process. Conclusions: At the core level, TQM is focused on long-term success by spotlighting customer satisfaction. CHTN-VUMC has effectively utilized TQM as a directive to establish necessary policies and procedures, develop a more pragmatic repository processes, and continuously improve upon customer-focused initiatives.