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Arch Hellen Med, 32(2), March-April 2015, 230-235


The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in health care:
The contribution of the human factor (health care professionals) and of continuing medical education

A. Mourtzikou,1,2 M. Stamouli,3 A. Pouliakis1
1Department of Cytopathology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, "Attikon" University General Hospital, Athens,
2Laboratory of Biochemistry, "Asklepeion" General Hospital of Voula, Athens,
3Laboratory of Biochemistry-Biopathology, Naval Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece

Quality control, the trend of our time, provides both the public and the private sector with the opportunity to survive and be competitive. The need to implement a quality management system in the health sector arises from the increasing interest in the quality of health services by recipients and from the needs of employees and society in general. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) guidelines ISO 9001:2000 and the directive CEN/TS 15224:2005 concern health services and the implementation of quality management systems in these services. According to these documents, the basic principles of quality in health care are: Customer focus, leadership, involvement of all stakeholders, humanistic care, a task-based approach, cooperation of all sectors for quality guidance through information, demand-based care, a mutually beneficial relationship with suppliers, continuous improvement and European harmonization. The implementation of quality management systems in the health services sector is complex because of its special characteristics. The human resources of a health system include many different health specialties, as well as health management and support personnel, all dedicated and essential to effective health system functioning. Continuing medical education is an essential component of professional development and competence which enables the continuous renewal of clinical knowledge and practical skills for health professionals. It also constitutes a bridge to quality and its results and effects can be measured at three levels: Competence, performance and the health status of patients.

Key words: Continuing medical education, Evidence-based medicine, International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

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