Sun | Mar 18, 2018

National public lab gets int'l accreditation

Published:Monday | June 13, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Dr Angela Scott
Sharonmae Shirley, CEO of JAANAC.

The National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) has been accredited by the Jamaica National Agency of Accreditation (JANAAC).

The official documents were presented at the JANAAC awards ceremony held at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on June 9. The NPHL was assessed based on the International Standardization Organization (ISO) 15189:2012 -- medical laboratories requirements for quality and competence. The accreditation is for a four-year period with annual surveillance and assessment.

Director at the National Laboratory Services of Jamaica (NLSJ) Dr Angela Scott said the accreditation certifies the lab's testing competence, which will give the entity an advantage in the marketplace.

"More labs will use and recommend the NPHL as the preferred facility... . Patients will also feel safer to visit our public labs," she said.

Scott said the facility will also be able to assist other labs across the island in improving their quality-management systems. Scott told JIS News that having the seal of approval holds the lab to a higher standard.

"It is not just about test results. It's about the processes within the lab; how to clean the computer monitors, buying recommended devices, monitoring customer satisfaction and even staff welfare," she said.




Scott commended the NPHL team for its commitment in achieving the milestone, noting that the process took years of hard work and involved rigorous evaluation of the lab's management and technical competences.

She expressed gratitude for the training provided by JANAAC and the mentoring support from the Ministry of Health, the United States Centre for Disease Control, and the Pan American Health Organization. CEO at JANAAC Sharonmae Shirley said the accreditation of medical laboratories is extremely important in the global marketplace. She said in order for Jamaica to benefit from medical tourism, the country must provide a world-class health service that conforms to international standards and best practices.

"JANAAC's medical lab accreditation is the gateway to the country becoming the place to treat patients from all over the world," she said.

The NPHL is the first public medical lab to be accredited. It provides routine and specialised testing in several areas to hospital and health centre patients in the public sector and gives referral services to public and private labs.