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Policies and Procedures in the News -- CDC -- Ebola -- Anthrax

Policies and Standard Operating Procedures show up in the headlines from time to time, and rarely in celebration of polices and procedures well implemented. But recent headlines  regarding the break down of communicating safety protocols at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have been persistent–and more than a little alarming. And what first appeared to be an isolated incident where anthrax (!) was mishandled is emerging systemic failure. From improper storage, including ziplock bags and unlocked refrigerators to transportation issues, the lax standards have put the CDC squarely in the public eye and called to a congressional subcommittee to explain. Fortunately, at this stage it looks like no one has been infected.

While most of us are not handling and storing infectious diseases (thankfully) there is a big take away from stories like these.
  1. Having a good system, complete with clear SOPs and a means for the conveying them and essential element of a well-run organization.
  2. Taking a step back from time to time to assess and look at the bigger picture is a worthwhile exercise It can help identify gaps and places for improvement.
  3. Understanding the importance of compliance to your business can help you identify ways to integrate it into daily practice and help create streamlined operations that meet both regulatory and business goals.
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