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A Quick Overview of ISO 13485 Requirements for Medical Device Companies

01 Aug 2023

It is an undeniable fact that safety and quality are the top-most priority for medical device companies. However, the best-practices to maintain these priorities are defined under ISO 13485. You cannot brush aside the need for implementing the right enterprise quality management software to create and maintain the culture of quality and continuous improvements. The software may help you meet compliance with next-generation features and functionalities like electronic signature and documentation, outgrowing the limitations of traditional practices.

The quality of medical devices directly impacts the safety of the patients. It is the reason that regulatory bodies require medical device manufacturers and suppliers to implement an internal quality system where all the activities are performed, documented, audited, and verified. Without a validated quality system, they may lose growth and improvement opportunities. They may also experience unnecessary delays to enter the major markets and earn a better share of profitability.

Before selecting the right quality management software, it is imperative for you to know and understand the critical requirements of ISO 13485. You are likely to get a checklist of considerations and features to look for while selecting your organization’s right quality management system.

First of all, what is ISO 13485?

ISO 13485 is specifically designed to help medical device manufacturers to streamline their designing, production, installation, servicing, and auditing processes.

The ISO 13485 requirements are recently revised to comply with the latest industry best practices, including the evolutions of next-generation technological solutions, stringent regulatory requirements, and growing customer expectations. The newest version of the standard focuses on risk management, risk-based decision-making, and complex supply chain-related changes.

Though ISO 13485 is based on the ISO 9001 model and relies on the concepts of Plan, Do, Check, Act, it is designed to help medical device organizations meet regulatory compliance; therefore, it is more detailed in nature and requires a comprehensive QMS system.

ISO 13485 was basically defined to support medical device manufacturers in implementing a powerful QMS that standardizes their processes for effective and efficient outcomes. It also ensures consistency through all the critical phases of medical device manufacturing from production to delivery, marking them safe for the intended purpose.

The certified organizations are the ones that demonstrate interconnected processes and data systems. For example, they must show how complaints are reviewed and processed for making significant quality improvements through properly documented and controlled processes.

Why ISO 13485 Is Important for Medical Devices Industry?

When it comes to the medical devices industry, ISO 13485 is vital for manufacturers and suppliers of medical devices. The certification significantly improves the organization’s market share, demonstrating their commitment to quality and industry best-practices.

ISO 13485 drives numerous benefits to the medical devices’ manufacturers, including:

  • Increased access to global markets and a significant rise in profitability.
  • Well-documented and outlined processes to perform the review and improve activities throughout the organization.
  • Increased efficiency, reduced costs, and improved supplier performance.
  • Consistent production of safer, reliable, and effective medical devices
  • Continually meet stringent regulatory requirements and growing customer expectations.

The significance of ISO 13485 doesn’t just lie in implementing the best practices; it also lies in auditing these practices in regular intervals to avoid failures and surprises that may affect patient safety and blemish the manufacturer’s reputation.

RELATED READING: Major Challenges Medical Device Industries face to Manage their Device Records

How to Implement ISO 13485 Quality Management System?

If you want to implement ISO 13485 Certified Quality Management System, you need to:

  • Get support from the top management to make implementation successful and hassle-free.
  • Identify the critical requirements you want the quality management system to fulfill.
  • Define the scope of the implementation to let everyone understand how you want things to get done.
  • Define the critical processes and procedures to ensure consistent quality medical devices.
  • Implement the defined procedures and processes aligned with industry best practices and the quality objectives you wish to achieve.
  • Provide your workforce with the right training management systems and programs to guide them through the best practices and regulatory requirements, ensuring that everyone in the team is on the same page.
  • Choose the right certification body to audit your QMS for the ISO 13485 requirements.
  • Review and measure the effectiveness of the quality management system regularly to demonstrate compliance.
  • Conduct internal audits at the required frequency to identify and eliminate the system inconsistencies.
  • Encourage the management review activities to ensure everyone is involved in quality management.
  • Identify the root cause of the quality problems and take necessary corrective actions on time to avoid any legal consequences.
  • Keep every process and procedure documented and stored in one place to demonstrate your commitment to quality to external auditors and regulatory bodies too.

How Can an Enterprise Quality Management Software Help?

An Enterprise Quality Management Software enables medical device companies to take a holistic approach to quality management. It allows them to create repeatable workflows and processes to ensure safer quality products while preparing them for operational and compliance challenges. It often will enable them to gain a competitive advantage.

The next-generation EQMS systems enable organizations to leverage the connected systems’ potential for an informed decision-making process. From identifying a nonconformance to sufficient resolution through root cause investigation and analysis, you can standardize all the quality processes to ensure consistency.

Since the ISO 13485 also requires a thorough auditing process, you can rely on EQMS software for regular audits. There is specific software that comes with pre-defined audit checklists that you can customize based on your internal and external requirements.

Therefore, an Enterprise Quality Management Software can reduce the process cycle times, product recalls, and compliance and supplier issues for medical device manufacturers.

Which EQMS Software to Go For?

The single-stop quality management software solution that can help resolve all the quality issues for medical device manufacturers while driving operational and compliance excellence is Qualityze EQMS Suite.

Qualityze Quality Management Software for Medical Devices industry is specifically designed to handle the industry’s unique challenges effectively and efficiently while meeting compliance with applicable regulatory standards. It helps you configure form, fields, and workflows based on the industry best practices, leaving no room for inconsistencies in the system.

As they say – “Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing, layout, processes, and procedures.” Qualityze brings that simplification through its configurable and intuitive interface. Built on the most reliable, powerful, and secure cloud platform, i.e., Salesforce.com, it ensures greater flexibility and accessibility to manage critical business data.

Most importantly, you can seamlessly integrate it with existing quality systems to leverage better control of data, processes, and product quality.

The Bottom Line

Every industry has its unique challenges and regulatory requirements to comply with. For the medical devices industry, it is ISO 13485 and ISO 9001 requirements. You can strike the balance of quality, compliance, and operational excellence with the right yet powerful quality management software like Qualityze EQMS Suite for the medical device industry. The next-generation software helps your quality teams to streamline and standardize processes to ensure safer, reliable, and quality products.

If you need any more information on Qualityze EQMS Suite, including the 13485 requirements it helps you to meet, you can get in touch with our customer success team on 1-877-207-8616 or write to us at info@qualityze.com; and we will be right there for you!

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