The clinical laboratory is an important component of the Papua New Guinea’s health-care system and is an essential component of our mission to achievr a healthy nation.
Quality, in terms of accuracy and reliability of laboratory results are extremely important and every effort must be put into attaining and maintaining this quality. Quality, however, does not “just happen”, it needs management will and commitment to implement and sustain a total quality management (T.Q.M.), covering the total testing process from test selection and ordering to analysis and reporting of results.
Quality Assurance in PNG.
The first National Quality Assurance Program (NQAP), initiated by the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) and the College of Allied Health Sciences (CAHS) and supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the National Department of Health (NDOH) commenced in1990 and was the first attempt at any form of quality assurance in PNG.
In the initial survey of September 1990, 44 workers from 17 laboratories from the Momase region were enrolled with 98% of workers and 94% of laboratories responding. Participation in the program was and remained entirely on a voluntary basis. By May 1994 the number of participants had increased to 223 workers and 144 laboratories countrywide. Unfortunately, interest and respond rates had declined, seeing only 144 workers, (47%) and 91 (63%) of laboratories responding. To the best of my knowledge there has been no NQAP survey done after the May 1994 batch and there is currently no formal NQAP for the clinical laboratory covering all laboratory sections.
This brings into question the QUALITY of laboratory results and the impact on patients!