Laboratory Medicine is a rapidly growing
professional field having many implications on health care. It is a disorganized
sector with no rules or regulations. Governmental institutions have done little
to improve the overall contribution of this sector to health care. Laboratories
come up by the crop, without understanding the impact it will have on health care.
There is nothing wrong in laboratories coming on every street as long as there is
a commitment to maintain the quality of the results to a minimum standard. Now,
defining this minimum standard has become very subjective and each lab person defines
quality practice in his or her own way which may be correct or wrong depending on
the science behind it. One of the practical scientific ways of assessing the quality
of results from a laboratory is to compare one laboratory’s result with that of
the other or even better many other laboratories. This is known as interlaboratory
comparison and goes a long way in providing a significant and meaningful level of
confidence among the committed laboratory professionals. There have been programmes
that are successfully working towards that end on a national scale. However there
is a need for a local regional/city based programme in addition, to eliminate the
errors arising from changes due to transport, storage, temperature changes that
can happen between the preparations of the quality control material and receiving
the same. Many laboratories have enrolled with these External Quality Assessment
programmes, however the same is used only for decorating the letterhead with a statement
that the laboratory is part of the external quality programme. No corrective measures
are taken to rectify parameters which are not within acceptable limits. One of the,
and commonly, cited reason for not taking corrective measures is that the error
could be due to transport and not a true error within the laboratory. One of the
reasons in developing an Inter Laboratory Quality Assessment is to eliminate this
problem and concentrate on taking corrective measures on unacceptable results.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME :
The desire to have a local External
Quality Assessment programme has been there in the minds of like minded laboratory
professionals. However for various reasons these thoughts were not put to action.
With the process of accreditation of clinical laboratories becoming a reality and
to a certain extent fashionable the need for External Quality Assessment will be
a need more than anything else. For example without the participation in an External
Quality Assessment programme accreditation will be hard (impossible) to come by.
Even if there has been an EQA in place, many, if not all laboratories are not aware
of proper handling of the data of the programme and act on the same to improve the
quality status. The objectives of ILQA Banaglore are :
1. Provide an alternative to existing
2. Provide a platform to improve the confidence level of the laboratory.
3. Provide technical assistance if required.
4. Provide cost effective EQA programme.
OUR MOTTO :
"To provide quality results to patients
by providing a good, reasonable and functioning External Quality Assessment programme
to member laboratories".
POLICIES OF ILQA BANAGLORE :
The policies of ILQA Banaglore would be defined and
governed by consensus of the core group of laboratory professionals. The draft of
policies which are listed below would be circulated within the core group and after
deliberations will be recorded and endorsed by authorized persons.
Inter Laboratory Quality
Assessment Banaglore is an autonomous body which may have affiliations to other national or
international professional bodies.
- The programme will provide
cost effective external Quality Assessment to member laboratories.
- Laboratories can become
members after registering, followed by approval by the authorized board of the ILQA Bangalore.
- Criteria for approval
of laboratories would be based on the following,
a. Authorized signatory of the
laboratory should be a person with a Post-graduate degree in Biochemistry or Pathology
or Microbiology. Qualifications would include MD, MSc or equivalent.
b. The laboratory
should have a well defined internal quality control programme. This is a necessity
as day to day variations are best identified by internal quality control. The laboratory
should provide a proof of running daily quality control in the form of LJ charts
or cumulative SD and CV. If the laboratory does not have record of internal quality
control, measures should be taken to record the same in the form of LJ charts. This
will help the laboratory to develop a system of records which in turn will help
in preparing for the process of accreditation. Computers could simplify the recording
and generation of LJ charts in laboratories which have equipment that do not have
built in QC programme.
- The programme will use
pooled sera as quality control material to begin with and change over to lyophilized
material at a later date.
- All material (sera)
being dispatched to member laboratories should be considered
as potentially infectious and handheld according.
- Quality control material
which is processed and ready for dispatch will be aliquot into 2 ml micro centrifuge
tubes and sealed adequately.
- To begin with quality
control material will be generated at one source and aliquot. Later, this process
could rotate between member laboratories with their permission and willingness.
- Protocol for sample preparation would be
documented and made available.