Introduction to Laboratory Quality Management and the Laboratory Quality Stepwise Implementation (LQSI) tool

WHO

24 virologists from National Influenza Centres (NICs) in the WHO European Region took part in a course on Laboratory Quality Management and the Laboratory Quality Stepwise Implementation (LQSI) tool from 17 to 21 November in Tirana, Albania. This 5-day training course was organized by WHO/Europe, in collaboration with the Netherland’s Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and the south-eastern European Center for Surveillance and Control of Infectious Diseases (SECID) as part of the Better Labs for Better Health project.

A practical approach

The course included lectures as well as practical exercises. Participants tested the LQSI tool on their own computers and acquired the competency to use this tool for the implementation of a quality management system in their own laboratories. Selected modules from the World Health Organization Laboratory Quality Management System (LQMS) training toolkit were used to help the participants understand the role of the different components of the quality management system in creating quality controlled and quality assured laboratory processes. By the end of the course participants assessed the status of their own laboratory compared to the first phase of the quality management system implementation as described in the LQSI tool. They then developed and presented a quality year plan for implementation of quality in their own laboratories and Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART) action plans to turn their visions into achievable goals.

WHO/Europe and KIT are currently working on follow-up trainings to address the obstacles to laboratory quality implementation identified by participants during the course.