The CLSI Global Health Partnerships (GHP) program is partnering with the Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (GEIS) Division of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center to improve the quality of its laboratory network, and the efficiency and accuracy of its testing results. This is the first time CLSI is working with GEIS, which performs surveillance for emerging infectious diseases that could affect the US military.
GEIS surveillance activities enable its partner network of six overseas US Department of Defense laboratories to provide military decision makers with relevant information that informs disease prevention and treatment policies. In fiscal year 2013, GEIS distributed $45.6 million in network surveillance activities that reached 50 countries.
“GHP is very excited to have the opportunity to assist these infectious disease research laboratories in their mission to quickly detect disease threats that may impact our armed forces serving overseas,” said GHP Vice President, Karen McClure, PhD, MLS (ASCP)SBB.
Dr. McClure is overseeing the overall implementation of the project while GHP Director Frances Ingersoll, MS, MLS (ASCP), directly manages the project’s staff and activities. CLSI staff and qualified volunteer trainers will provide training and technical support on quality management systems (QMS) and their implementation in the laboratories; mentor and assist in the development of a laboratory quality manual; and assess the status of the laboratories for compliance with international standards as well as assist with development of plans to address identified gaps.
Dr. McClure and Ms. Ingersoll traveled to Kenya in December 2013 to conduct an initial audit of the Basic Sciences Research Laboratory in Kisumu, Kenya, in order to assess the facility’s current status toward compliance with QMS for laboratories and preparation for accreditation aligned to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 15189 standard requirements. Additionally, CLSI was requested to conduct an initial audit for the Malaria Research Laboratory in Kisian, Kenya.
After the trip, CLSI made initial recommendations including revision of the quality and sample collection manuals, monitoring of the results of internal quality control, and the development and implementation of a process for addressing nonconforming events with corrective action.
In January 2014, Ms. Ingersoll and GHP Director Connie Adams, MT(ASCP), led the first of three 5-day workshops for the Kisumu and Kisian laboratory staff, covering topics such as process mapping, developing standard operating procedures, and nonconforming event management.
The GHP team also plans to send a volunteer mentor for three 10-day visits to the laboratories between April 2014 and October 2014 to address the development of policies, processes, and procedures, and the implementation of QMS in the laboratories.
To learn more about the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center and GEIS, visit www.afhsc.mil.