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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Quality Moves On



Quality Moves On
Twenty thirteen (2013) begins as with every year; not a bang or a whimper. Just a turn of a page on a calendar.  Only time will tell how things progress.  But from my perspective, risk analysis points to more opportunities for upside than downside.  

The international standard on Quality and Competence for Medical Laboratories (ISO 15189:2012) has been published.  There is precious little new in the document, but it is more comprehensively written with more interpretive commentary.  It should be easier to digest for first time readers, and this might have an impact on more uptake by laboratories seeing a value in voluntary supplementary accreditation. Fortunately for our Program Office Certificate Course in Laboratory Quality Management course, our text, the Canadian Standards Association 15189 Essentials is still relevant, but we will have to see if there is room or necessity for change for next year.  

In the meantime there is increasing awareness of the role of Risk in the medical laboratory.  At present we have the document ISO/TS 22367:2008 Medical laboratories -- Reduction of error through risk management and continual improvement.  From my perspective, the time has come to strengthen the suite of documents that surrounds 15189 rather than spending more time making cosmetic changes to 15189.  In my point of view laboratories need to have better documents to ground risk and safety and  point of care.  Some might argue that these are documents that have more value for developed countries, and I can sort of see that point of view.  But on the other hand, se are seeing some really interesting change in developing laboratories that involve “technology hopscotch”.  We are seeing huge change in laboratories directly linked to cell phone and smart phones.  Who would have believed that rural laboratories could have direct to patient transmission of rapid information, or direct to wireless printing, and direct to distance continuing education?   Time will tell where all this leads, but it certainly becomes a huge opportunity for risk and evolution.  It is exciting.

In the meantime I will be tied up with a series of additional programs that carry huge opportunity.  In February I likely will be in Tanzania, and in April will be hosting my 20th Quality Conference for Microbiology Quality.  This conference has gone through huge change over time.  I started as a joint meeting of Canadian proficiency testing programs sharing innovations and progress.  In many respect I miss that meeting because if was the ultimate foundation for collaboration.  Gradually the meeting changed with increasing more Quality oriented subjects than just proficiency testing.  I will be very interested to see how the meeting evolves as it goes forward under someone else’s command. 
Most importantly I am looking forward to the progress that we are having with resident training and PhD training and our October meeting.

The October meeting (see below) is coming along really well.   This will be truly a national meeting with partners from the federal government and (hopefully) with a major provincial organization, and perhaps a supplemental workshop for a special certificate.  What was planned as a relatively small meeting is growing very quickly.  Our plan is to start our formal promotional program in a few weeks, but anyone interested in hearing more can send a request information through ubcpolqm@gmail.com


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