Thursday, October 28, 2010

Canadian Standards Association Z252.

Most of you, I hope not all of you, have never heard of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), unless it is in the context of electrical plugs or hockey helmets.  I will tell you that that is a shame because as standards development bodies go, CSA is about as excellent a Quality Partner as you can get. 
CSA does write nationally and internationally respected electrical standards and also standards for bicycle and hockey helmets. But in addition to these and many others, CSA has been actively involved in writing guidelines and standards for the broad scope of health care for many years (long before my time).  From the standards for HVAC and Anaesthetic Gas delivery through Infection Control and Sterilization and Chemical Fume Hoods to the specifics of ISO15189 and laboratory safety and on-and-on.  I have worked with them since 1998 and have had a hugely positive and successful relationship.   

They are also , importantly, the ongoing secretariat for ISO:9000.

They have sponsored and supported our group as we have written national standards, and an implementation guide for ISO 15189:2003 and a new guide for ISO15189:2007 (soon to be published).  They have  sponsored our technical committee’s participation in all working groups in ISO212. They  consistently promote active participation and engagement for our committee Z252 The National Committee for Medical Laboratory Quality Systems.
Over the next year we will be engaged in writing new documents to address standards for immunohistochemistry, for pre-examination procedures (requests-procurement-transport-transport-storage) and for laboratory safety.  Along the way we will be involved in the new pan Canadian initiative for units of measure standardization in preparation for Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and projects for sharps containers, and likely fume hoods.  That will be a lot of work, but it likely all will happen, with the support and cooperation of CSA staff and liaisons.  

So congrats to us and to CSA for having and providing the opportunities to get really engaged as a medical laboratory Quality Partner.  

A busy and successful meeting today; an even busier (and hopefully as successful) one tomorrow.
If you are looking for a place to volunteer and participate in making Canada better and safer, finding time to become engaged in a CSA committee is pretty good activity to consider.

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