How to Implement SOP's



Here are a few suggestions about implementing your purchased medical device SOP:

1. Carefully read the SOP and be sure you understand what the procedure requires your company to do

2. If there are conflicts between the SOP and company practice, they must be resolved. If your company is not conducting an activity described in the SOP it must start. If your company is doing something different than what is described in the SOP, it must be decided if current company procedure is in FDA compliance. If compliant, the SOP may be modified to conform to your practice.

3. Determine if the responsibilities listed in the SOP are assigned to the correct functional groups. If not, change the titles in the SOP.

4. Convene a meeting of all affected groups and discuss the SOP and its requirements. Objections and concerns should be dealt with before SOP approval and implementation. Lack of buy-in by affected groups could lead to personnel not following the SOP and subsequent discovery of this during an FDA  audit, leading to Observations and Warning Letters. SOP customization may be done at this point.

5.Before approval the SOP should undergo a "dry run" to be sure the procedure can be followed. Just reading the SOP is not adequate.

6. The SOP should be approved by appropriate management. SOP Approval should be in writing.

7. Official numbered SOP copies should be distributed to all affected groups and a log kept by Quality Assurance. SOP copies should be readily accessible to all affected personnel and they should all know the location of the SOP copy. FDA will definitely ask personnel if they know where their SOP referral copy is kept. Electronic systems for control of the SOP are helpful here.

8. Training on the SOP should be conducted before implementation. This can be accomplished very simply at a short meeting. Each person should receive a copy of the SOP to review prior to the meeting. The instructor explains the SOP and answers questions. Training should be documented and training logs filed by Quality Assurance. The copies of the SOP should be collected following the meeting and destroyed. Training copies of the SOP are destroyed so that nobody uses an potentially obsolete, and potentially erroneous, training copy instead of a copy of an approved SOP.

9. Several months following implementation of the SOP an audit should be conducted to assure personnel understand the medical device SOP and are following the SOP to the letter.  If discrepancies are found and the deviation is determined to be more appropriate, the SOP may need to be revised following a document revision procedure which includes management approval.

10. If there are any complications, reasonably priced consultation services are available from Medical Device SOP Advisors. Refer to the "Services" section on the menu.