Posted by Sten Westgard, MS
On May 24 through 26th, Westgard QC held the annual Westgard Workshops in Madison, Wisconsin.
The theme of the first workshop was Basic QC Practices, but the curriculum wasn't so basic.
Over the years, we have educated continuously about Levey-Jennings control charts and "Westgard Rules" multirule QC procedures. The need for training in how to properly construct a control chart, apply control limits, and correctly interpret results never seems to diminish.
But similar to the Lean concept of "Five Why's", we discovered there is a deeper need among laboratory staff. Why are they applying the control limits the use in their laboratory? Often this is a tradition - the techs do the same QC practices that were handed down to them by the previous generation of techs.
This year, in addition to the basics, we added some advanced training in QC Planning and Design, in Quality Systems, and Six Sigma metrics, so that techs would not only be able to perform QC right, they would also be able to select the right QC. That way, a "tradition" of QC can be replaced by something more scientific, rationale, and quantitative.
A tradition that didn't go away was the Westgard "round of beer" at the University of Wisconsin student Union terrace. After exhausting our participants on the first day, we offer everyone a chance to relax along the lakeside and share some local Wisconsin brews.
Top row: Tony Wicheanvonagoon , sharon Ehrmeyer, Sharon Visteen
Bottom row: Sten Westgard, David Armbruster, James Westgard
Perhaps this type of gathering is a little too informal for some, but we are always ready to be ambassadors for Wisconsin. We're proud to get people to sample the Beer, Brats and Cheese of the Dairy state.