Q1 2023

Jan23241 Putting Quality First Datod – Welsh for “unravel” is a management consultancy based in South Wales. They specialise in helping healthcare companies improve how they manage quality. Having earned the title of Best Consultancy for Transforming Medical Device Development 2023 – UK, we spoke to managing director, Dr Matthew Wictome to find out more. “Building Sustainable Change” is the ethos behind Datod, a company designed to help medical device companies improve how they manage quality. Since setting up the company four years ago, Datod has gone on to achieve incredible success. It’s a journey that no one would understand better than Dr Matthew Wictome, who has seen the business rise to its current heights. We asked Matthew what has driven him to such high standards in the industry. “I’m a biochemist by training and spent my early years in R&D,” Matthew explains. “I moved into Quality about 20 years ago and since then have worked with many medical companies helping them improve how they run their quality management systems.” The importance of medical devices cannot be overstated. Quality is crucial because lives, quite literally, are at stake. Datod was founded primarily because Matthew thought that there was a better way for healthcare companies to operate. “Coming from a product development background I’ve seen it from the other side and understand that the quality system has a huge impact on how effective a company can be, its ability to create market-share and support a profitable business,” he tells us. “Profitability is a word not always used by the quality profession, but it’s key. Healthcare systems need products that are safe, effective, and affordable but they are under huge strain now, so it is vitally important we get this balance right. “ Datod stands apart, therefore, as a force that stands against these challenges. For him, quality must come first as opposed to competing with other important matters such as environmental sustainability and diversity. “Protecting patients is more than just a box-ticking exercise,” he says, “and quality is key in ensuring patient safety, obeying the law, and growing market share. Quality organisations often can do a much better job understanding patient needs and how to satisfy these needs, in profitable and sustainable ways. Our approach is to apply operational methodology to re-balance quality systems going beyond just focusing on meeting the regulations.” Since opening its doors, the Datod team have made it their mission to work closely with organisations. This might mean helping them build a plan and execute transformational change. Other companies might want Datod to help identify solutions to specific problems, and they go at their own pace. Reaching all of these companies might seem challenging to some, but Matthew and his team have developed the perfect solution. “We also offer an online in-depth assessment tool to analyse your quality system and give you an instant personalised report of recommendations you can implement to improve quickly. In addition, there is a range of online training packages organisations can complete under your own steam. Or we offer approaches specific to you and we just do some heavy-lifting making change happen.” The range of ideas makes quality a factor which can be prioritised by any, and everybody. The lessons learned whilst running Datod have gone into a new book, “Transforming Quality Organizations: A Practical Guide” by Matthew and Ian Wells. “We wanted to distil approaches we’ve found to be highly effective over the years, approaches when implemented can help reduce critical complaints and time to market in half,” he says. “The other reason we wrote the book was the absence of a practical guidance on how to help Quality organisations improve levels of patient safety. Currently the focus on quality in some parts of the healthcare sector simply isn’t good enough.” Once published, all royalties will be going to Patient Safety Movement, charity focussed on improving healthcare safety and reducing the incidence of patient harm and very close to both authors’ hearts. To round off the interview, we asked Matthew for any final thoughts that would benefit some of our readers. “Never underestimate the importance of quality and putting your customers central to what you do. Many businesses say this, but not all do it. It is vital to the success of your business, whatever your company provides. Be unrelenting in your focus on this.” Company: Datod Consulting Ltd Contact: Matthew Wictome Website: www.datod-consulting.co.uk