Background: In clinical trials, turnaround time, data accuracy and
quality are critical for developing safe and new medicine for patients. The
cost of a one-day delay in a drug being brought to the market can be in
millions.1 It is
essential; therefore, that all stakeholders in clinical trials take steps
forward to improve efficiency, accuracy and quality of the clinical research
overall. Doing so requires that organizations look beyond symptoms to uncover
the true causes of errors in quality and delays. Additionally, new processes
must be implemented in such a way as to become part of institutional culture,
ensuring the consistent, on-going success of future efforts.
Purpose/Aim: To integrate, study and develop a stable, robust and
reproducible Quality Management System (QMS) using combined quality management
techniques such as Six Sigma, ISO and Lean together in clinical research.
Methods: Group of Students and working professionals will be
asked to assess these three techniques individually and combined using
pre-defined, developed and validated paper questionnaires. Different studies
will be conducted over the period of 6-18 months and data will be collected.
These studies will have an objective of testing each of three techniques on
established processes to see if these can be used for process improvements.
Result of these studies and quality matrix will be looked at to see how Six
Sigma, ISO and Lean work independently and in combination of each other at the
same time. Validated questionnaires will be used to obtain the results. Any
survey tool developed will be piloted before using in the main phase of the
study. Model needs will vary according to level of accessibility and
sub-techniques, and this will need to be considered when selecting the sample
for detailed study. Standard statistical packages will be used for examination.
Standard qualitative and qualitative data analysis software package will be
used to interpret the data generated form the review, questionnaire and
Conclusions: It is expected from proposed studies that combined use of
ISO, Lean and Six Sigma techniques can improve quality of processes, data and
produce robust Quality Management System.
techniques are different but complement each other. It is anticipated that a
combination of these techniques will be of a great magnitude and beneficial to
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Dawn Pope; Lean Six Sigma in the Clinical Trial Industry: Two Perspectives,
published on 09 October 2012
. ClinicalTrials.gov; Retrieved on 06 October 2014, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/resources/trends
. International Conference on Harmonization (ICH); Good
Clinical Practice (GCP) E6 – Guidelines; retrieved on 06 October 2014, http://www.ich.org/fileadmin/Public_Web_Site/ICH_Products/Guidelines/Efficacy/E6/E6_R1_Guideline.pdf
. Lui EW. Clinical research: the Six Sigma way. J Assn Lab
. Chow-Chua, Clare; Goh, Mark; Wan, Tan Boon (2003).
"Does ISO 9000 certification improve business performance?".
International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management 20 (8): 936.
. Cynthis F. Kleppinger; Leslie K. Ball. Building Quality
in Clinical Trials With Use of Quality Systems Approach; Journal of Clinical
Infectious Diseases 2010; 51(S1):S111–S116.
. Zidel, Tom
(2006), A Lean Guide to Transforming Healthcare ISBN 0-87389-701-3