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By Cheryl May Tan, MD

On October 13, 2013, the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer read: “Pasig hospital back in good health, earns ISO approval.” This pertains to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008 certification that the Rizal Medical Center had recently acquired after a yearlong preparation.This writer feels nothing but extreme elation brought on by this outstanding achievement, which is actually the first step of our journey towards continuous delivery of quality services to patients.


Many things can be said about how this tertiary government hospital was able to achieve such a significant feat. Primary credit should go to our very able leader, in the person of Dr. Relito M. Saquilayan, the hospital’s Medical Center Chief. Because a good leader “steers the ship,” it is very important for that leader to play an exceptionally crucial role so that the members will follow and emulate him throughout the whole process. In a similar vein, the vision and mission, committees, and technical working groups may be there, but if there is no cooperation and support from the staff, then the goal might not, in most probability, be reached.  In the one year-long preparation, this writer has seen the cooperation of each department at various levels, with each person participating at various points and at varying capacities. Each one contributed his share, no matter how trivial it may have seemed to some. With a good leader steering the fleet in the right direction, each person grasped the significance of the hospital’s vision and mission, and imbibed the commitment towards the achievement of the ISO accreditation. ISO accreditation not only ensures quality processes and services; it also leads to behavioral and cultural change towards achievement of excellence. Kudos to Dr. Saquilayan and the entire RMC staff for a job well done! Mabuhay ang Rizal Medical Center!