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Joe Zakowski

A Message From Our President

Jack Zakowski, PhD, FACB


In February, CLSI attended the MedLab conference in Dubai, UAE. In an effort to advance our mission of developing clinical and laboratory practices and promoting their use worldwide, Glen Fine, our CEO, gave three presentations on implementing CLSI’s best practice standards to help laboratories improve quality and advance towards achieving full internationally recognized accreditation.

Additionally, I was honored in March to have spoken to almost 600 people during seven presentations in Vietnam, South Korea, and China about CLSI best practice standards and their use in achieving international accreditation. I also met with a number of key laboratory leaders in South Korea, and with representatives of our active partners at the Korean Society for Laboratory Medicine (KSLM).

Accreditation requirements vary from country to country, but both Mr. Fine and I emphasized that CLSI’s globally accepted standards can be used in any laboratory, regardless of the accrediting body.

Each year, the United States Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Division of Laboratory Services publishes a list of the most commonly cited deficiencies found during the accreditation process. The most recent list summarizes data from over 17,000 laboratory inspections. Top deficiencies included:

  • Improper specimen storage
  • Improper patient identification
  • Problems with personnel competency assessment
  • Improper equipment calibration verification
  • Inadequate reagent and culture media storage

The use of globally harmonized standards is an essential pathway to laboratory accreditation. Using CLSI’s best practice health care standards and guidelines promotes positive patient outcomes and has helped laboratories around the world achieve accreditation. For over 10 years, CLSI has worked in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and national ministries of health to improve the quality of laboratory services in more than 20 developing nations. Since 2010, with CLSI’s support, 10 laboratories in Kenya, Mali, Namibia, and Tanzania have reached their accreditation goals. With CLSI’s engagement, many more laboratories continue working toward accreditation through internationally recognized organizations such as The Joint Commission, College of American Pathologists, the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Services, and various International Organization for Standardization-based accreditation agencies.

CLSI’s mission is to develop clinical and laboratory practices and promote their use worldwide. We are making great progress towards that goal, improving patient care worldwide, and elevating the practice of laboratory medicine.

 

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