Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 19

Quality management Related Abstracts

19 The Quality and Management Development for Traditional Community Retailers in Samut Songkhram Province, Thailand

Authors: Suppara Charoenpoom

Abstract:

The purposes of this research were to investigate the level of consumers’ awareness of the traditional community retailers in terms of location, service quality, risk, shopping enjoyment, value for money, shopping satisfaction and intention to repurchase as well as to investigate the factors influenced the consumers’ repurchase in Samut Sonkhram Province, Thailand. The findings revealed that consumers had a high level of awareness in terms of location, and intention to repurchase. The factors influenced the consumers’ level of satisfaction included value for money, shopping enjoyment, and service quality. The factors of consumers’ level of satisfaction had an influence to the intention to repurchase. Moreover, the findings also revealed that the majority of respondents wanted traditional community retailers to continue to operate because of these reasons: close location, convenience, credit, as well as provide a place and time for community social gathering and activities.

Keywords: Quality management, Service Quality, traditional retailer, consumers’ awareness

Procedia PDF Downloads 257
18 Factor Influencing the Certification to ISO 9000:2008 among SME in Malaysia

Authors: Dolhadi Bin Zainudin

Abstract:

The study attempts to predict the relationship between influencing factors in the adoption of ISO 9000:2008 and to identify which how these factors play the main role in achieving ISO 9000 standard. A survey using structured questionnaire was employed. A total of 255 respondents from 255 small and medium enterprises participated in this study. With regards to influencing factors, a discriminant analysis was conducted and the results showed that three out of nine critical success factors is statistically significant between ISO 9000:2008 and non-ISO 9000 certified companies which are communication for quality, information and analysis and organizational culture.

Keywords: Quality management, factors, Malaysia, ISO 9000, small and medium enterprise, influencing factors

Procedia PDF Downloads 222
17 Incidence and Causes of Elective Surgery Cancellations in Songklanagarind Hospital, Thailand

Authors: A. Kaeotawee, N. Bunmas, W. Chomthong

Abstract:

Background: The cancellation of elective surgery is a major indicator of poor operating room efficiency. Furthermore, it is recognized as a major cause of emotional trauma to patients as well as their families. This study was carried out to assess the incidence and causes of elective surgery cancellation in our setting and to find the appropriate solutions for better quality management. Objective: To determine the incidence and causes of elective surgery cancellations in Songklanagarind Hospital. Material and Method: A prospective survey was conducted from September to November 2012. All patients who had their scheduled elective operations cancelled were assessed. Data was collected on the following 2 components: (1) patient demographics;(2) main reasons for cancellations, which were grouped into patient-related factors and organizational-related factors. Data are reported as a percentage of patients whose operations were cancelled. The association between cancellation status and patient demographics was assessed using univariate logistic regression. Results: 2,395 patients were scheduled for elective surgery and of these 343 (14.3%) had their operations cancelled. Cardiothoracic surgery had the highest rate of cancellations (28.7%) while the least number of cancellations occurred in ophthalmology (10.1%). The main reasons for cancellations were related to the unit's organization (53.6%), due to the surgeon (48.4%). Patient related causes (46.4%), due to non medical reasons (32.1%). The most common cause of cancellation by the surgeon was lack of theater time (21.3%), by patients due to the patient’s nonappearance (25.1%). Cancellation was significantly associated with type of patient, health insurance, type of anesthesia and specialties (p<0.05). Conclusion: Surgery cancellations by surgeons relating to a lack of theater time was a significant problem in our setting. Appropriate solutions for better quality improvement are needed.

Keywords: Quality management, elective cases, surgery cancellation, appropriate solutions

Procedia PDF Downloads 117
16 ISO 9001:2008 Effectiveness on the Performance of Public Organizations in Oman

Authors: Said Rashid Aal Abdulsallam

Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to measure ISO 9001:2008 effectiveness and determines its impact on the performance dimensions in terms of service quality, operational performance and customer satisfaction from the perspectives of both service providers and receivers. The paper is based on an empirical study carried out on all the ISO 9001:2008 certified departments in the Ministry of Education in the Sultanate of Oman. Data were obtained from the certified departments and their equivalent clients through two structured online questionnaires. Exploratory factor analyses are applied to extract the underlying factors of the indicators of ISO 9001 objectives and performance dimensions. Multiple linear regression analyses are also applied in order to determine the impact of ISO 9001 effectiveness on the performance dimensions of the certified departments. The study sample includes all the ISO 9001 certified departments in the Ministry of Education. The study instruments used target both the service providers as well as the service receivers with the purpose of alleviating the subjective nature of the data collected from the service providers who may be biased in favour of ISO 9001 quality management system or their performance. The findings of the study verify the effectiveness of the application of ISO 9001:2008 quality management system. Additionally, the study reveals that the ISO 9001 certified departments have achieved the ISO 9001 the standard's objectives including prevention of nonconformities, continuous improvement and customer satisfaction focus at different rates. The study also proves that there is a significant relation between the achievement of the ISO 9001 standard objectives and the operational performance of the departments. Even though the operational performance service quality of the ISO 9001 certified departments has substantially improved from the perspective of the departments, the customer satisfaction has not notably increased from the perspective of the service receivers.

Keywords: Quality management, Customer Satisfaction, ISO 9001, operational performance, public organization

Procedia PDF Downloads 251
15 Quality Fabric Optimization Using Genetic Algorithms

Authors: Ben Hassen Mohamed, Halimi Mohamed Taher, Kordoghli Bassem, Sakli Faouzi

Abstract:

Textile industry has been an important part of many developing countries economies such as Tunisia. This industry is confronted with a challenging and increasing competitive environment. Good quality management in production process is the key factor for retaining existence especially in raw material exploitation. The present work aims to develop an intelligent system for fabric inspection. In the first step, we have studied the method used for fabric control which takes into account the default length and localization in woven. In the second step, we have used a method based on the fuzzy logic to minimize the Demerit point indicator with appropriate total rollers length, so that the quality problem becomes multi-objective. In order to optimize the total fabric quality, we have applied the genetic algorithm (GA).

Keywords: Quality management, Fuzzy Logic, Genetic Algorithm, Fabric Control

Procedia PDF Downloads 402
14 Framework for Decision Support Tool for Quality Control and Management in Botswana Manufacturing Companies

Authors: Mogale Sabone, Thabiso Ntlole

Abstract:

The pressure from globalization has made manufacturing organizations to move towards three major competitive arenas: quality, cost, and responsiveness. Quality is a universal value and has become a global issue. In order to survive and be able to provide customers with good products, manufacturing organizations’ supporting systems, tools, and structures it uses must grow or evolve. The majority of quality management concepts and strategies that are practiced recently are aimed at detecting and correcting problems which already exist and serve to limit losses. In agile manufacturing environment there is no room for defect and error so it needs a quality management which is proactively directed at problem prevention. This proactive quality management avoids losses by focusing on failure prevention, virtual elimination of the possibility of premature failure, mistake-proofing, and assuring consistently high quality in the definition and design of creation processes. To achieve this, a decision support tool for quality control and management is suggested. Current decision support tools/methods used by most manufacturing companies in Botswana for quality management and control are not integrated, for example they are not consistent since some tests results data is recorded manually only whilst others are recorded electronically. It is only a set of procedures not a tool. These procedures cannot offer interactive decision support. This point brings to light the aim of this research which is to develop a framework which will help manufacturing companies in Botswana build a decision support tool for quality control and management.

Keywords: Manufacturing, Quality management, Quality Control, decision support tool

Procedia PDF Downloads 353
13 Introducing a Proper Total Quality Management Model for Libraries

Authors: Alireza Shahraki, Kaveh Keshmiry Zadeh

Abstract:

Total quality management in libraries is of particular importance because high-quality libraries can facilitate the sustained development process in countries. This study has been conducted to examine the feasibility of implementation of total quality management in libraries of Sistan and Baluchestan and to provide an appropriate model for this concern. All of the officials and employees of Sistan and Baluchestan libraries (23 individuals) constitute the population of the study. Data gathering tool is a questionnaire that is designated based on ISO9000. The data extracted from questionnaires were analyzed using SPSS software. Results indicate that the highest degree of conformance to the 8 principles of ISO9000 is attributed to the principle of 'users' (69.9%) and the lowest degree is associated with 'decision making based on facts' (39.1%). Moreover, a significant relationship was observed among the items (1 and 3), (2 and 5), (2 and 7), (3 and 5), (4 and 5), (4 and 7), (4 and 8), (5 and 7), and (7 and 8). According to the research findings, it can generally be said that it is not eligible now to utilize TQM in libraries of Sistan and Baluchestan.

Keywords: Quality management, Total Quality, University Libraries, libraries management

Procedia PDF Downloads 204
12 The Impact Of Environmental Management System ISO 14001 Adoption on Firm Performance

Authors: Raymond Treacy, Paul Humphreys, Ronan McIvor, Trevor Cadden, Alan McKittrick

Abstract:

This study employed event study methodology to examine the role of institutions, resources and dynamic capabilities in the relationship between the Environmental Management System ISO 14001 adoption and firm performance. Utilising financial data from 140 ISO 14001 certified firms and 320 non-certified firms, the results of the study suggested that the UK and Irish manufacturers were not implementing ISO 14001 solely to gain legitimacy. In contrast, the results demonstrated that firms were fully integrating the ISO 14001 standard within their operations as certified firms were able to improve both financial and operating performance when compared to non-certified firms. However, while there were significant and long lasting improvements for employee productivity, manufacturing cost efficiency, return on assets and sales turnover, the sample firms operating cycle and fixed asset efficiency displayed evidence of diminishing returns in the long-run, underlying the observation that no operating advantage based on incremental improvements can be everlasting. Hence, there is an argument for investing in dynamic capabilities which help renew and refresh the resource base and help the firm adapt to changing environments. Indeed, the results of the regression analysis suggest that dynamic capabilities for innovation acted as a moderator in the relationship between ISO 14001 certification and firm performance. This, in turn, will have a significant and symbiotic influence on sustainability practices within the participating organisations. The study not only provides new and original insights, but demonstrates pragmatically how firms can take advantage of environmental management systems as a moderator to significantly enhance firm performance. However, while it was shown that firm innovation aided both short term and long term ROA performance, adaptive market capabilities only aided firms in the short-term at the marketing strategy deployment stage. Finally, the results have important implications for firms operating in an economic recession as the results suggest that firms should scale back investment in R&D while operating in an economic downturn. Conversely, under normal trading conditions, consistent and long term investments in R&D was found to moderate the relationship between ISO 14001 certification and firm performance. Hence, the results of the study have important implications for academics and management alike.

Keywords: Supply Chain Management, Quality management, Sustainability, Environmental management systems, Firm Performance

Procedia PDF Downloads 157
11 Risk Management in Healthcare Sector in Turkey: A Dental Hospital Case Study

Authors: Pırıl Tekin, Rızvan Erol

Abstract:

Risk management has become very important and popular in developing countries in recent years. Especially making patient and employee health and safety issues compulsory in the hospitals, raised the number of studies in Turkey. Also risk management become more important for hospital senior management from clinics to the laboratories. Because quality is really important to be chosen for both patients to consult and employees to prefer to work. And also risk management studies can lead to hospital management team about future works and methods. By this point of view, this study is the risk assessment carried out in the biggest dental hospital in the south part of Turkey. This study was conducted as a research case study, covering two different health care place; A Clinic and A Laboratory. It shows that the problems in this dental hospital and how it can solve all.

Keywords: Healthcare, Quality management, Risk management, dental hospital

Procedia PDF Downloads 219
10 Development of the Integrated Quality Management System of Cooked Sausage Products

Authors: Liubov Lutsyshyn, Yaroslava Zhukova

Abstract:

Over the past twenty years, there has been a drastic change in the mode of nutrition in many countries which has been reflected in the development of new products, production techniques, and has also led to the expansion of sales markets for food products. Studies have shown that solution of the food safety problems is almost impossible without the active and systematic activity of organizations directly involved in the production, storage and sale of food products, as well as without management of end-to-end traceability and exchange of information. The aim of this research is development of the integrated system of the quality management and safety assurance based on the principles of HACCP, traceability and system approach with creation of an algorithm for the identification and monitoring of parameters of technological process of manufacture of cooked sausage products. Methodology of implementation of the integrated system based on the principles of HACCP, traceability and system approach during the manufacturing of cooked sausage products for effective provision for the defined properties of the finished product has been developed. As a result of the research evaluation technique and criteria of performance of the implementation and operation of the system of the quality management and safety assurance based on the principles of HACCP have been developed and substantiated. In the paper regularities of influence of the application of HACCP principles, traceability and system approach on parameters of quality and safety of the finished product have been revealed. In the study regularities in identification of critical control points have been determined. The algorithm of functioning of the integrated system of the quality management and safety assurance has also been described and key requirements for the development of software allowing the prediction of properties of finished product, as well as the timely correction of the technological process and traceability of manufacturing flows have been defined. Based on the obtained results typical scheme of the integrated system of the quality management and safety assurance based on HACCP principles with the elements of end-to-end traceability and system approach for manufacture of cooked sausage products has been developed. As a result of the studies quantitative criteria for evaluation of performance of the system of the quality management and safety assurance have been developed. A set of guidance documents for the implementation and evaluation of the integrated system based on the HACCP principles in meat processing plants have also been developed. On the basis of the research the effectiveness of application of continuous monitoring of the manufacturing process during the control on the identified critical control points have been revealed. The optimal number of critical control points in relation to the manufacture of cooked sausage products has been substantiated. The main results of the research have been appraised during 2013-2014 under the conditions of seven enterprises of the meat processing industry and have been implemented at JSC «Kyiv meat processing plant».

Keywords: Quality management, HACCP, cooked sausage products, safety assurance

Procedia PDF Downloads 146
9 Designing the Procedures of Building and Environment Management for Basic Education Schools by Using Quality Management

Authors: Suppara Charoenpoom

Abstract:

This study focuses on 1) a good-quality management procedures of buildings and environment in schools 2) designing the management procedures and 3) creating an operation manual for the procedures. This study is the combination of qualitative and quantitative research method. Populations in the research were 83 deans and directors of primary and secondary schools from the 10th educational district in Samut Songkram. Sample group was selected from the voluntary deans and directors. There were 14 participants in sample group. Research tools in this study were divided into 2 categories. The first one was data-collecting tools, which were in-depth interview and questionnaires. The second one was the designing tools to help creating management procedures: quality business, quality work procedure and key quality indicator of each activity in schools. All data were analyzed by mean and standard deviation. The result from this study has found out 1 effective process of building and environment management for basic education schools which is called Quality Business Process (QBP) and 7 Quality Work Procedures (QWP). In terms of academic feasibility checkup by experts, the research had shown that new design of building and environment management was approved unanimously. It means that new process of building and environment management in schools works very well and can be adapted. After examining the possibility of management process being used in schools by calculating the mean value among sample group (14 school deans and directors), the mean value was between 0.64-1.00. It means that the new design of building and environment management can be operated effectively in schools. For the satisfaction part, deans and school directors gave the satisfaction score in the highest level (Mean = 4.7372, S.D. = 0.4385).

Keywords: Quality management, Environment, Buildings, procedures

Procedia PDF Downloads 92
8 Towards an Environmental Knowledge System in Water Management

Authors: Mareike Dornhoefer, Madjid Fathi

Abstract:

Water supply and water quality are key problems of mankind at the moment and - due to increasing population - in the future. Management disciplines like water, environment and quality management therefore need to closely interact, to establish a high level of water quality and to guarantee water supply in all parts of the world. Groundwater remediation is one aspect in this process. From a knowledge management perspective it is only possible to solve complex ecological or environmental problems if different factors, expert knowledge of various stakeholders and formal regulations regarding water, waste or chemical management are interconnected in form of a knowledge base. In general knowledge management focuses the processes of gathering and representing existing and new knowledge in a way, which allows for inference or deduction of knowledge for e.g. a situation where a problem solution or decision support are required. A knowledge base is no sole data repository, but a key element in a knowledge based system, thus providing or allowing for inference mechanisms to deduct further knowledge from existing facts. In consequence this knowledge provides decision support. The given paper introduces an environmental knowledge system in water management. The proposed environmental knowledge system is part of a research concept called Green Knowledge Management. It applies semantic technologies or concepts such as ontology or linked open data to interconnect different data and information sources about environmental aspects, in this case, water quality, as well as background material enriching an established knowledge base. Examples for the aforementioned ecological or environmental factors threatening water quality are among others industrial pollution (e.g. leakage of chemicals), environmental changes (e.g. rise in temperature) or floods, where all kinds of waste are merged and transferred into natural water environments. Water quality is usually determined with the help of measuring different indicators (e.g. chemical or biological), which are gathered with the help of laboratory testing, continuous monitoring equipment or other measuring processes. During all of these processes data are gathered and stored in different databases. Meanwhile the knowledge base needs to be established through interconnecting data of these different data sources and enriching its semantics. Experts may add their knowledge or experiences of previous incidents or influencing factors. In consequence querying or inference mechanisms are applied for the deduction of coherence between indicators, predictive developments or environmental threats. Relevant processes or steps of action may be modeled in form of a rule based approach. Overall the environmental knowledge system supports the interconnection of information and adding semantics to create environmental knowledge about water environment, supply chain as well as quality. The proposed concept itself is a holistic approach, which links to associated disciplines like environmental and quality management. Quality indicators and quality management steps need to be considered e.g. for the process and inference layers of the environmental knowledge system, thus integrating the aforementioned management disciplines in one water management application.

Keywords: Quality management, Water Quality, Semantic Technologies, environmental knowledge system, green knowledge management

Procedia PDF Downloads 106
7 The Quality of Management: A Leadership Maturity Model to Leverage Complexity

Authors: Marlene Kuhn, Franziska Schäfer, Heiner Otten

Abstract:

Today´s production processes experience a constant increase in complexity paving new ways for progressive forms of leadership. In the customized production, individual customer requirements drive companies to adapt their manufacturing processes constantly while the pressure for smaller lot sizes, lower costs and faster lead times grows simultaneously. When production processes are becoming more dynamic and complex, the conventional quality management approaches show certain limitations. This paper gives an introduction to complexity science from a quality management perspective. By analyzing and evaluating different characteristics of complexity, the critical complexity parameters are identified and assessed. We found that the quality of leadership plays a crucial role when dealing with increasing complexity. Therefore, we developed a concept for qualitative leadership customized for the management within complex processes based on a maturity model. The maturity model was then applied in the industry to assess the leadership quality of several shop floor managers with a positive evaluation feedback. In result, the maturity model proved to be a sustainable approach to leverage the rising complexity in production processes more effectively.

Keywords: Quality management, maturity model, process complexity, quality of leadership

Procedia PDF Downloads 240
6 Mastering Digitization: A Quality-Adapted Digital Transformation Model

Authors: Marlene Kuhn, Heiner Otten, Franziska Schaefer

Abstract:

In the very near future, digitization will be the main challenge a company has to master to survive in a highly competitive market. Developing the right transformation strategy by considering all relevant aspects determines the success or failure of a company. Especially the digital focus on the customer plays a key role in creating sustainable competitive advantages, also leading to new tasks within the quality management. Therefore, quality management needs to be particularly addressed to support the upcoming digital change. In this paper, we present an analysis of existing digital transformation approaches and derive a transformation strategy from a quality management perspective. We identify and classify different transformation dimensions and assess their relevance to quality management tasks, resulting in a quality-adapted digital transformation model. Furthermore, we introduce applicable and customized quality management methods to support the presented digital transformation tasks. With our developed model we provide a digital transformation guideline from a quality perspective to master future disruptive changes.

Keywords: Quality management, Strategy, Digitization, Digital transformation

Procedia PDF Downloads 308
5 Automotive Quality Engineering: A Roadmap for Functional Safety

Authors: Hugo d’Albert, Udo Lindemann

Abstract:

The number of automotive electronic systems that allow realizing new functions, like driver assistance systems, has been increasing extremely in the last decade. Although they bring several benefits, their malfunctions can lead to severe consequences, such as personal injury of road users. Functional safety is an approach to identify these critical malfunctions and arrange technical systems that include only tolerable risk. This approach is– in comparison with other technical areas– relatively new in the automotive sector. For a long time, the automotive systems have based on mechanical components and approved principles, like robust design. With a growing number of electric and electronic components in the modern cars and realizing by software of the system functions, the need for new standards and methods to assure the functional safety has arisen. This paper described the current state of engineering for safety in automotive sector and discusses new directions to meet the challenges of the future.

Keywords: Quality management, Quality Engineering, Automotive Systems, functional safety

Procedia PDF Downloads 113
4 Study and Improvement of the Quality of a Production Line

Authors: S. Bouchami, M.N. Lakhoua

Abstract:

The automotive market is a dynamic market that continues to grow. That’s why several companies belonging to this sector adopt a quality improvement approach. Wanting to be competitive and successful in the environment in which they operate, these companies are dedicated to establishing a system of quality management to ensure the achievement of the objective quality, improving the products and process as well as the satisfaction of the customers. In this paper, the management of the quality and the improvement of a production line in an industrial company is presented. In fact, the project is divided into two essential parts: the creation of the technical line documentation and the quality assurance documentation and the resolution of defects at the line, as well as those claimed by the customer. The creation of the documents has required a deep understanding of the manufacturing process. The analysis and problem solving were done through the implementation of PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) and FTA (Fault Tree Analysis). As perspective, in order to better optimize production and improve the efficiency of the production line, a study on the problems associated with the supply of raw materials should be made to solve the problems of stock-outs which cause delays penalizing for the industrial company.

Keywords: Quality management, documentary system, Plan Do Check Act (PDCA), fault tree analysis (FTA) method

Procedia PDF Downloads 24
3 Quality Care from the Perception of the Patient in Ambulatory Cancer Services: A Qualitative Study

Authors: Jhon Osorio, Herlin Vallejo

Abstract:

Quality is a concept that has gained importance in different scenarios over time, especially in the area of health. The nursing staff is one of the actors that contributes most to the care process and the satisfaction of the users in the evaluation of quality. However, until now, there are few tools to measure the quality of care in specialized performance scenarios. Patients receiving ambulatory cancer treatments can face various problems, which can increase their level of distress, so improving the quality of outpatient care for cancer patients should be a priority for oncology nursing. The experience of the patient in relation to the care in these services has been little investigated. The purpose of this study was to understand the perception that patients have about quality care in outpatient chemotherapy services. A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive study was carried out in 9 patients older than 18 years, diagnosed with cancer, who were treated at the Institute of Cancerology, in outpatient chemotherapy rooms, with a minimum of three months of treatment with curative intention and which had given your informed consent. The total of participants was determined by the theoretical saturation, and the selection of these was for convenience. Unstructured interviews were conducted, recorded and transcribed. The analysis of the information was done under the technique of content analysis. Three categories emerged that reflect the perception that patients have regarding quality care: patient-centered care, care with love and effects of care. Patients highlighted situations that show that care is centered on them, incorporating elements of patient-centered care from the institutional, infrastructure, qualities of care and what for them, in contrast, means inappropriate care. Care with love as a perception of quality care means for patients that the nursing staff must have certain qualities, perceive caring with love as a family affair, limits on care with love and the nurse-patient relationship. Quality care has effects on both the patient and the nursing staff. One of the most relevant effects was the confidence that the patient develops towards the nurse, besides to transform the unreal images about cancer treatment with chemotherapy. On the other hand, care with quality generates a commitment to self-care and is a facilitator in the transit of oncological disease and chemotherapeutic treatment, but from the perception of a healing transit. It is concluded that care with quality from the perception of patients, is a construction that goes beyond the structural issues and is related to an institutional culture of quality that is reflected in the attitude of the nursing staff and in the acts of Care that have positive effects on the experience of chemotherapy and disease. With the results, it contributes to better understand how quality care is built from the perception of patients and to open a range of possibilities for the future development of an individualized instrument that allows evaluating the quality of care from the perception of patients with cancer.

Keywords: Quality management, nursing care, oncology service hospital, qualitative studies

Procedia PDF Downloads 21
2 The Importance of Analysis of Internal Quality Management Systems and Self-Examination Processes in Engineering Accreditation Processes

Authors: Wilfred Fritz

Abstract:

The accreditation process of engineering degree programmes is based on various reports evaluated by the relevant governing bodies of the institution of higher education. One of the aforementioned reports for the accreditation process is a self-assessment report which is to be completed by the applying institution. This paper seeks to emphasise the importance of analysis of internal quality management systems and self-examination processes in the engineering accreditation processes. A description of how the programme fulfils the criteria should be given. Relevant stakeholders all need to contribute in the writing and structuring of the self-assessment report. The last step is to gather evidence in the form of supporting documentation. In conclusion, the paper also identifies learning outcomes in a case study in seeking accreditation from an international relevant professional body.

Keywords: Quality management, Accreditation, governing bodies, self-assessment report

Procedia PDF Downloads 4
1 The Impact of Inconclusive Results of Thin Layer Chromatography for Marijuana Analysis and It’s Implication on Forensic Laboratory Backlog

Authors: Ana Flavia Belchior De Andrade

Abstract:

Forensic laboratories all over the world face a great challenge to overcame waiting time and backlog in many different areas. Many aspects contribute to this situation, such as an increase in drug complexity, increment in the number of exams requested and cuts in funding limiting laboratories hiring capacity. Altogether, those facts pose an essential challenge for forensic chemistry laboratories to keep both quality and time of response within an acceptable period. In this paper we will analyze how the backlog affects test results and, in the end, the whole judicial system. In this study data from marijuana samples seized by the Federal District Civil Police in Brazil between the years 2013 and 2017 were tabulated and the results analyzed and discussed. In the last five years, the number of petitioned exams increased from 822 in February 2013 to 1358 in March 2018, representing an increase of 32% in 5 years, a rise of more than 6% per year. Meanwhile, our data shows that the number of performed exams did not grow at the same rate. Product numbers are stationed as using the actual technology scenario and analyses routine the laboratory is running in full capacity. Marijuana detection is the most prevalence exam required, representing almost 70% of all exams. In this study, data from 7,110 (seven thousand one hundred and ten) marijuana samples were analyzed. Regarding waiting time, most of the exams were performed not later than 60 days after receipt (77%). Although some samples waited up to 30 months before being examined (0,65%). When marijuana´s exam is delayed we notice the enlargement of inconclusive results using thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Our data shows that if a marijuana sample is stored for more than 18 months, inconclusive results rise from 2% to 7% and when if storage exceeds 30 months, inconclusive rates increase to 13%. This is probably because Cannabis plants and preparations undergo oxidation under storage resulting in a decrease in the content of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol ( Δ9-THC). An inconclusive result triggers other procedures that require at least two more working hours of our analysts (e.g., GC/MS analysis) and the report would be delayed at least one day. Those new procedures increase considerably the running cost of a forensic drug laboratory especially when the backlog is significant as inconclusive results tend to increase with waiting time. Financial aspects are not the only ones to be observed regarding backlog cases; there are also social issues as legal procedures can be delayed and prosecution of serious crimes can be unsuccessful. Delays may slow investigations and endanger public safety by giving criminals more time on the street to re-offend. This situation also implies a considerable cost to society as at some point, if the exam takes a long time to be performed, an inconclusive can turn into a negative result and a criminal can be absolved by flawed expert evidence.

Keywords: Quality management, Accreditation, backlog, forensic laboratory

Procedia PDF Downloads 1