Call for expressions of interest for mentors in laboratory quality

Well-functioning, sustainable laboratory services, operating according to international principles of quality and safety, are essential for strong health systems and crucial for improving public health.

A key method for effective and efficient strengthening of medical laboratories is the implementation of a quality management system (QMS) based on the international quality standard ISO 15189:2012. In 2014, WHO launched a web-based tool that guides laboratories with the practical day-to-day implementation of the QMS: the Laboratory Quality Stepwise Implementation (LQSI) tool.

Since August 2014, under the Better Labs for Better Health initiative, WHO/Europe and its partners have trained 62 laboratory managers and quality officers from 26 countries in eastern and south-eastern Europe in the implementation of a QMS according to ISO 15189 using the LQSI tool. Additional trainings in the WHO European Region are envisaged in the near future.

Even though the use of the LQSI tool minimizes the need for external assistance in the implementation process, regular mentoring remains crucial. During these visits, mentors can answer questions, help to develop action plans to overcome obstacles, perform external audits and provide trainings.

WHO/Europe is seeking to establish a pool of regional mentors in eastern or south-eastern Europe to assist laboratories implementing a QMS after the LQSI training.