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Global Health Partnerships Director Speaks at Annual Meeting of Philippines Laboratory Council

Global Health Partnerships (GHP) Director Connie Adams, MT(ASCP), was invited to speak at the annual meeting of the Philippine Council for Quality Assurance in Clinical Laboratories (PCQACL) from October 7–10, 2013 in Manila, Philippines. Ms. Adams presented an overview of CLSI’s GHP program and its Quality Management Systems for Laboratory Leaders Certificate Program, which launched in Vietnam in 2011.

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The annual conference drew more than 600 laboratory professionals who work throughout the Philippines in hospitals, government, industry, and universities. In addition to Ms. Adams, Lucia M. Berte, MA, MT(ASCP)SBB, DLM; CQA(ASQ)CMQOE, Laboratories Made Better! P.C., Broomfield, Colorado, USA, Chairholder of the CLSI Subcommittee on Quality Management Systems, a key contributor to the revision of the updated version of The Key to Quality™ as well as the new CLSI Laboratory Quality Management System Certificate Program, also spoke about quality management systems (QMS) at this year’s conference.

PCQACL was established in 1999 to promote quality improvement in clinical laboratories through professional education programs in conjunction with other regional health associations.

Laboratories in the Philippines vary greatly when it comes to advancement and quality, according to CLSI Senior Standards Project Manager Ron Quicho, who was asked to represent CLSI for the first time at a PCQACL conference last year.

In larger cities such as Manila and Cebu, laboratories are better funded and more comparable to US facilities. For example, the laboratory for the Philippine National Kidney Institute, which is led by a former president of PCQACL, is International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 15189-accredited and other laboratories in Manila are working toward similar internationally recognized accreditation.

However, laboratories in the rural areas of the Philippines, which account for more than 60% of the facilities, typically have minimal knowledge on how to properly implement and sustain quality laboratory operations, Mr. Quicho said. Similar to other developing nations, they face challenges when trying to achieve quality operations with limited resources.

In August 2013, CLSI signed a memorandum of understanding with PCQACL. The council plans to implement CLSI’s The Key to Quality™ and other standards to improve the quality and consistency of laboratory services. As part of the agreement, PCQACL aims to work with CLSI to launch a QMS for Laboratory Leaders Certificate Program in the Philippines, and the council is seeking funding for CLSI to conduct a “train the trainers” QMS program so that local laboratorians can work with rural laboratories to improve quality.

CLSI is seeking corporate and foundation support for GHP’s laboratory quality improvement programs. If your company is interested in learning more about GHP sponsorships and grants, please contact Director, Development Lauren Wiley at 484-588-5935 or lwiley@clsi.org.

 

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