A retrospective study of quality management system at national reference laboratory in Mumbai - Highlighting quality in HIV testing
International Journal of Medical Science and Public Health
High quality diagnostic services are crucial for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis, treatment and control. A strong laboratory quality management system (QMS) is critical to ensuring the quality of testing and results. Recent initiatives to improve TB laboratory quality have focused on low and middle-income countries, but similar issues also apply to high-income countries. Methods and findings Using a multipronged approach reviews of facilities, equipment, processes (purchasing, pre-analytic,
... e-analytic, analytic and post-analytic), staff, health and safety, documentation, information management and organization based on the ISO 15189 and the twelve quality system essentials were conducted between October 2015 and January 2016 at the National TB Reference Laboratory in Germany. Outcome assessment included proportion of smear positive slides, proportion of contaminated liquid cultures and DNA contamination rates before and after implementation of QMS. The odds ratio for these outcomes was calculated using a before/after comparison. Reviews highlighted deficiencies across all twelve quality system essentials and were addressed in order of priority and urgency. Actions aimed at improving analytical quality, health and safety and information management were prioritised for initial implementation in parallel with each other. The odds ratio for a sample to be tested as microscopically positive increased by 2.08 (95%CI 1.41-3.06) comparing the time before with the time after implementation of quality managed fluorescence microscopy. Liquid culture contamination rates decreased from 23.6-7.6% in April-July 2016 to <10% in November 2017-March 2018. The proportion of negative controls showing evidence of DNA contamination decreased from 38.2% in 2013 to 8.1% in 2017, the corresponding odds ratio was 0.14 (95%CI 0.07-0.29).