Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) President, Mary Lou Gantzer, PhD, FACB, and CLSI Chief Executive Officer, Glen Fine, MS, MBA, CAE, visited Guangzhou, China from Monday, February 25 to Friday March 1, 2013 to meet with members of DaAn Health, a key member organization of the Sun Yat-sen University Industry Group.
DaAn Heath is one of the largest independent clinical laboratory organizations in China, with a national network of nine provincial laboratories and 15 business branches. DaAn Health offers a broad range of clinical laboratory tests, insights, and solutions to improve health care throughout China.
Dr. Gantzer met Dr. Tony Chan, PhD, Chief Science Officer and Board Certified Clinical Chemist, in November 2012, while she was in Beijing, China on behalf of CLSI. Dr. Chan invited Dr. Gantzer and Mr. Fine to meet with DaAn Health, tour their laboratories, and explore opportunities for the organizations’ potential future collaboration.
“Our visit highlighted the mission that CLSI and DaAn Health share—to implement best practices at all levels and complexities within the health care system,” said Dr. Gantzer. “We look forward to working with DaAn Health to promote superior health care within their network through the implementation of CLSI standards, guidelines, and education.”
China has three tiers of health care delivery. Tier III includes large academic hospitals, tier II deals with mid-level hospitals, and tier I incorporates community health centers and smaller hospitals. Since each tier varies in size and focus, the process of implementing CLSI standards and guidelines would also have to vary to meet their unique needs.
A memorandum of understanding between the two organizations was signed on February 28, 2013. Dr. Gantzer and Mr. Fine discussed potential synergies with the CLSI Board of Directors on March 15, 2013 and interest was expressed in continuing to explore in more detail collaboration opportunities.
“DaAn Health strongly believes that standards are not effective unless they can be readily implemented in an easy format such as flow charts, quick guides, online resources, hands-on training, and mentoring,” said Fine. “The next step in the relationship between CLSI and DaAn Health will be to identify specific needs, logistics of a potential partnership, and develop appropriate CLSI standards, guidelines, training, and education in an easy-to-use structure for individuals working within the health care system in each tier.”
In November 2012, CLSI volunteer, R. Neill Carey, PhD, FACB, and CLSI Director of IT and Software Products, Jim Blackwood, MS, traveled to Doha, Qatar to teach comprehensive two-day workshop about the “Concepts and Practices in the Evaluation of Laboratory Methods.” The workshop included the opportunity to use the StatisPro™ Method Evaluation software from CLSI to implement the current best practices.
Dr. Carey and Mr. Blackwood were invited to Qatar by the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) with the purpose of helping the HMC staff understand and follow best practices in their evaluation of laboratory methods. HMC has eight hospitals and over 20 laboratories in Qatar, and, according to Mr. Blackwood, is “a huge proponent of CLSI guidelines, especially the Key to Quality™.”
Mr. Blackwood explained that HMC recognizes the value of CLSI standards and guidelines in assuring compliance with the current best practices developed by government, industry, and health care professionals. HMC originally purchased StatisPro because of the close association with CLSI. StatisPro is the only statistical package that faithfully implements nine widely used CLSI guidelines. It also comes with a commitment from CLSI to be updated as the CLSI guidelines are updated.
The originally planned one-day workshop was expanded into a two-day event in order to accommodate the overwhelming number of interested students. CLSI was very fortunate to have Dr. Carey as the instructor for this workshop because of his experience in teaching and using method evaluation in his own laboratory. The workshop was intended to give the laboratory scientists a better understanding of the complex statistics used for method evaluations and an appreciation for the simplicity and accuracy offered by StatisPro. The workshop introduced the laboratorians to the new software, making them comfortable with creating their own studies and evaluating the statistical results of those studies.
“Dr. Carey was always able to tie the theory back to laboratory practice,” said Mr. Blackwood. “The laboratory scientists from HMC really appreciated this.”
“It was interesting to see how laboratory directors and managers in countries around the world focus on CLSI guidelines to help manage quality,” said Dr. Carey, whose trip marked his first visit to a laboratory in another country. “I could see that they are dealing with the same issues that we are.”
Mr. Blackwood also emphasized how pleased he was to see that HMC was heavily committed to following the CLSI guidelines to pursue Joint Commission International and CAP accreditation.
The success of the workshop in Doha highlighted the strong need for training and education of laboratory scientists on the topic of laboratory method evaluations. CLSI hopes to fulfill this need, and currently plans to offer similar full-day workshops across the United States and Canada in 2013.
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