Mbale Regional Referral Hospital Laboratory attained a five-star status in the recently concluded Ministry of Health (MOH) led national laboratory audits. This is the first time a Regional Hospital Laboratory has achieved more than 95% of the international standards requirements for laboratory quality and competency. This is the highest attainable star status following the World Health Organization’s Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLIPTA) criteria. Laboratory accreditation is a procedure where an authorized body gives formal recognition that a laboratory is competent to offer services that conform to international standards.
Mbale RRH laboratory’s rise to this status started in 2012 when it was enrolled in MOH Strengthening Laboratory Management Towards Accreditation (SLMTA) program with support from USAID/SUSTAIN project. This program provided the opportunity for the laboratory to progressively improve its performance following the World Health Organization audit score principles guided by the 12 laboratory quality management systems essentials. At the time of enrollment, Mbale’s baseline score was at 0, it progressed to star 3 in 2013 and now is at star 5.
USAID/SUSTAIN support for Mbale Hospital Laboratory
Laboratory Quality Management Systems Essentials
According to the Mbale Regional Referral Hospital Laboratory Manager Mr. Okidi Henry:
“Utilization of knowledge gained from trainings and mentorships, teamwork and commitment contributed to Mbale’s 5-star score. Accordingly, proper documentation and record keeping is the basis of improved performance in SLMTA. Facilities should therefore endeavor to have easy-to-access standard operating procedures, quality manuals, and clinician’s hand book. They should also always refer to ISO 2012. Leadership from the laboratory in-charges, but also from hospital and administration will help in improving the quality of laboratory services.”