Rachel Beavins Tracy

Rachel Beavins Tracy
Rachel Tracy is a writer for EtQ with expertise in environmental, healthcare and technology topics. She has a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University and has been writing for businesses since 2008.

Recent Posts

4 Quality Lessons Medical Device Manufacturers Can Learn from Tech Giants

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Sep 06, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Patient-centricity is a buzzword in life sciences, part of a push for innovation made difficult by complex regulations and long-standing corporate cultures that favor the status quo.

 

Compare this to the tech industry, which is constantly developing new, high-quality products that surprise and delight customers. Companies like Apple, Google and Amazon, all of whom have pushed the limit and redefined what it means to be a thought leader.

 

What can medical device manufacturers learn from these tech giants? Let’s look at 4 of the most important lessons companies can use to improve quality and move confidently into the next era of innovation.

 

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Medical Devices

A Goofus and Gallant Tale of EHS Management

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Aug 23, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

When I was a kid, I loved reading Highlights magazine. It always had really solid knock-knock jokes there, as well as informative articles and fun craft projects.

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Environmental Health and Safety Management

4 Things Life Sciences Companies Should Know About FDA Warning Letters

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Aug 17, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

The number of warning letters handed out by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been on a steady rise over the past several years. In fact, the agency handed out more than 100 warning letters in 2016 alone, often after missed opportunities to correct mistakes pointed out in Form 483 observation reports.

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Life Sciences

4 Ways to Leverage Data for Operational Excellence

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Aug 16, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Data can be a gift and a curse when it comes to operational excellence. For some companies, ineffective practices make data a barrier to improvement, with too many data points and metrics obscuring the most strategic course of action.

 

At the same time, data is also a key enabler of operational excellence, helping businesses make sense of the vast quantities of information generated in today’s manufacturing environments. All told, a full 85% of companies aim to be data-driven, yet little more than a third of them are successful.

 

Today, we’re looking at four ways companies can better leverage data for operational excellence, looking at elements like predictive capabilities, supplier quality management and measuring effectiveness.

 

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Quality Management

Tracking Waste: How to Avoid Common RCRA Pitfalls

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Aug 09, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is the main U.S. law governing hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste management. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for enforcing the law, handing out $200 billion in criminal fines in 2016 over RCRA and other violations.

 

The problem for manufacturers is that, despite many companies’ hopes of a more relaxed regulatory environment, the potential EPA penalties are more costly than ever. In this post, we’re looking at some of the most common RCRA pitfalls, including how to avoid errors in waste determinations, labeling and storage.

 

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EHS

6 Ways You Could Be Using Your EHS Software More Effectively

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Aug 02, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Nearly 3 in 4 Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) professionals say their department is understaffed. Whether due to underfunding of EHS priorities or the current skills shortage, it’s a problem that many safety professionals must grapple with.

 

At the same time, adoption of EHS Software is growing, presenting new opportunities for improving efficiency of EHS processes.

 

With these facts in mind, let’s take a look at 7 ways you could be using your EHS Software more effectively to get better results.

 

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EHS Management

9 Free OSHA Resources to Help Companies Improve Safety

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Jul 19, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Where do you start if you need to create a comprehensive employee safety program from scratch? What can you do if your company is struggling with high rates of injuries and illnesses?

 

These and other questions can be difficult to answer, particularly for companies in high-risk industries or without much in-house Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) expertise.

 

What many organizations don’t realize is that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) offers a broad array of completely free resources to help improve safety. Today we’re looking at nine of them, from basic best practices to personalized guidance to resources designed specifically for small businesses.

 

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EHS Management

ISO 13485 Countdown: 5 Critical Tasks to Focus on Now

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Jul 12, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

The clock is ticking: in less than a year—February 28, 2019—previous ISO 13485:2003 certificates will no longer be valid. And if you plan to participate in the Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP), that deadline is even earlier, as you’ll need to make the switch by the first of the year.

If you feel like you’re behind schedule, taking concrete action can help eliminate some of the stress. Let’s look at 5 practical steps you can focus on right now to make sure you’re ready ahead of the deadline.

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Life Sciences

Industrial Hygiene Trends [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] Wed, Jun 27, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Industrial Hygiene (IH) software helps perform qualitative assessments utilizing Similar Exposure Group (SEG) methodologies for the categorization of hazard types, job roles, processes, locations, demographics and more. 

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EHS

Using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIot) to Improve Quality

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Jun 22, 2018 / by Rachel Beavins Tracy

Disruptive technologies like ride-sharing, 3D printing and self-driving vehicles are driving rapid transformation across many industries. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is no exception, with manufacturing ripe for disruption due to the prevalence of manual processes.

Given that human error is responsible for 85% of quality problems, it’s no surprise that roughly 1 in 4 companies who plan to implement IIoT are doing it to improve quality.

So how can companies expect to improve quality through the interconnectedness of devices? This posts looks at several key drivers of the transformation.

 

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quality system