STAGE 4: IMPLEMENT
Once the preferred option for resolving the quality incident has been decided upon, the various contingency actions need to be put into place, monitored and evaluated. The final step in the quality incident response plan (QIRP) process is to learn from it so that similar problems can be avoided in future, or at least found earlier in the process.
IMPLEMENT THE CONTINGENCY PLAN
By now the quality issue should be well understood and an appropriate contingency plan to deal with issues resulting from the quality incident devised. The contingency plan needs to be implemented, including clear documentation, which clearly states the roles and responsibilities, as well as who and how people will be informed. The implementation of the contingency plan needs to be closely monitored to make sure that all of the actions are carried out and to determine whether further actions are needed.
EVALUATE AND LEARN
It is important that the process and outcomes from the QIRP are written up and that any necessary follow-up action is undertaken and documented. For example, do any procedures for the next cycle of the collection need to be modified? Are new procedures, or quality measures or gates needed to improve the process?
The occurrence of a quality incident should signal that additional quality measures and monitoring need to be incorporated in the planning and process for the next cycle. In this stage of the QIRP there is more time to think and the objective is to look beyond the immediate causes to uncover the underlying lessons and incorporate them into future planning. The primary aim here is to prevent similar quality incidents from occurring again in the future. Ensuring that all discussions and investigations are maintained whilst the QIRP is underway is essential for incorporating the lessons from the process into future cycles.