Medtronic was founded in 1949 and has grown to become a global leader in medical technology. Seeing what a difference medical technology could make in the lives of patients inspired our founder to develop the Medtronic Mission, which remains unchanged today.
The third tenet of the mission is all about quality:
“To strive without reserve for the greatest possible reliability and quality in our products, to be the unsurpassed standard of comparison, and to be recognized as a company of dedication, honesty, integrity, and service.”
Regardless of function, all CRHF employees play a role in product quality. Whether designing new therapies, sourcing components, manufacturing products, hiring talented people, assigning financial resources to project teams, or serving in one of the hundreds of other roles, every employee has an influence on product quality.
Product performance information is received from many sources through various channels. Medtronic monitors information from many sources from Research and Development through Manufacturing and Field Performance Vigilance.
When a device is returned to Medtronic, laboratory technicians and engineers assess overall device function. Analysis of returned product is performed according to written procedures. These procedures determine the minimum analysis required. The analysis required varies depending on the type of device, age of the device, the associated information received with the device, actual experience with models of similar design, and other factors. Additional analysis is performed as necessary to investigate a performance concern from a customer, or to collect specific reliability data.
When a malfunction is identified, failure analysis is performed to provide the detailed information necessary to investigate possible causes and actions. Medtronic CRHF maintains in-house expertise and performs its failure analysis using facilities it owns and supports. This capability permits detailed failure analysis.
Analysis results are compared to original manufacturing records and design intent. Clinical observations are added to laboratory findings to help determine root cause. Each event is then compared to other events. If a pattern is detected, actions are taken to identify a common root cause, assess patient risk and an appropriate course of action.
Medtronic instituted the industry’s first product performance reports in 1983 by publishing data on our chronic lead studies. Pacemakers and other devices followed as our performance reporting has constantly evolved based on customer need and feedback. One thing has been a constant. It is our sincere commitment to communicate clearly, offering timely and appropriate product performance data and reliability information. This has always been and will continue to be our goal.