The Implementation of an Integrated Management System at Qatar Biobank
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Qatar Biobank (QBB) is a platform that will make vital health research possible through its collection of samples and information on health and lifestyle from the local population of Qatar. The goal of QBB is to collect, process, store, and finally share high-quality biological samples and associated data for research purposes with the research community. To do this, a series of standardized procedures following evidence-based practices are required, and QBB is achieving this by implementing an integrated management system (IMS) that incorporates ISO 9001: 2015 and ISO 27001: 2013 standards. ISO 9001 is one of the most commonly implemented quality management systems as it is applicable to any size of organization. ISO 27001: 2013 is increasingly popular as organizations look to manage their data and information security, especially in the light of the recent General Data Protection Regulation legislation and an ever-changing digital landscape. QBB has achieved certification in both ISO 9001: 2015 (originally 2008 standard) and ISO 27001: 2013 since 2014. In 2016, during preparations for recertification of both standards in 2017, QBB chose to integrate both of the management systems in preference to running them in parallel, without compromising the goals and objectives of QBB. The IMS has ensured that rigorous processes and controls are implemented to not only manage the quality of internal and external processes and services provided, but the privacy and confidentiality of data collected during a participant visit are consistently protected as well as a proactive approach to identifying and managing risk within the organization. This article will explore the impact of implementing an IMS on the continuous improvement of services within QBB.