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Development and implementation of the Caribbean Laboratory Quality Management Systems Stepwise Improvement Process (LQMS-SIP) Towards Accreditation
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    28879149
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5523911
  • Description:
    Background

    Implementing quality management systems and accrediting laboratories in the Caribbean has been a challenge.

    Objectives

    We report the development of a stepwise process for quality systems improvement in the Caribbean Region.

    Methods

    The Caribbean Laboratory Stakeholders met under a joint Pan American Health Organization/US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiative and developed a user-friendly framework called ‘Laboratory Quality Management System – Stepwise Improvement Process (LQMS-SIP) Towards Accreditation’ to support countries in strengthening laboratory services through a stepwise approach toward fulfilling the ISO 15189: 2012 requirements.

    Results

    This approach consists of a three-tiered framework. Tier 1 represents the minimum requirements corresponding to the mandatory criteria for obtaining a licence from the Ministry of Health of the participating country. The next two tiers are quality improvement milestones that are achieved through the implementation of specific quality management system requirements. Laboratories that meet the requirements of the three tiers will be encouraged to apply for accreditation. The Caribbean Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality hosts the LQMS-SIP Secretariat and will work with countries, including the Ministry of Health and stakeholders, including laboratory staff, to coordinate and implement LQMS-SIP activities. The Caribbean Public Health Agency will coordinate and advocate for the LQMS-SIP implementation.

    Conclusion

    This article presents the Caribbean LQMS-SIP framework and describes how it will be implemented among various countries in the region to achieve quality improvement.

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