The SLMTA Hero Award

Praneel Budhu, Manager, National Health Laboratory Service Northdale Laboratory, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

Esther Tsheola, Proficiency Scheme Manager, National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), South Africa

Praneel, NHLS Northdale laboratory manager, attended the three SLMTA workshops in 2013. At baseline audit, the laboratory was rated one SLIPTA star.  Under Praneel’s leadership and guidance, the laboratory effectively implemented improvement projects including repainting the laboratory. At exit audit, the laboratory achieved a four-star rating. In July 2014 the laboratory was audited by ASLM and received five-stars. Subsequently, the laboratory was accredited by South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) in 2015.

Praneel was very motivated and enthusiastic about the SLMTA program and was always willing to go the extra mile. He formed laboratory committees that dealt with implementation of various aspects of the Quality Management System (QMS) in accordance with the SLIPTA checklist thus applying the step-by-step approach in the implementation of the system. His motivation, dedication, commitment and team work were infectious to the surrounding staff members and through his exemplary leadership a QMS system was implemented.

Praneel was goal oriented and kept track of progress on tasks assigned to staff. His enthusiasm afforded him an opportunity to motivate successive SLMTA participants by sharing how his laboratory was able to achieve 5 stars in 14 months, the first NHLS laboratory to be awarded 5 stars by at ASLM. The accreditation achievement bodes well with the ASLM 2020 vision that 250 laboratories on the program should be accredited.