Lessons Learned from SLMTA Accredited Labs

Hai Duong Prevention Medicine Center, Vietnam

Front row from left: Nguyễn Tùng Lâm, Nguyễn Thị Hạnh, Dr. Đặng Văn Nhan (Director of the Laboratory Department), Tạ Văn Cẩm (Vice Director of the Laboratory Department and Head of the HIV Laboratory), Nguyễn Văn Tuấn, Bùi Văn Huy Back row from left: Lê Thị Hạnh, Nguyễn Thị Xuân, Hoàng Mai Hương, Nguyễn T Quỳnh Mai, Trịnh Thu Huyền, Lê Thị Hạnh, Vũ Thị Huyên

  1. What was the hardest thing to do in order to get accredited?
    • Lack of budget for purchasing and validating equipment.
    • Insufficient knowledge and competency of staff.
  2. What was the easiest?

    Staff consolidation and high morale/sense of responsibility.

  3. What was the most important contributing factor to getting accredited?

    Thanks to the SLMTA program, laboratory staff were trained to plan and conduct quality improvement projects, thus increasing the capacity both in management and technical skills.

  4. What steps did you take?
    • Step 1 : Establish policies
    • Step 2 : Write SOPs
    • Step 3 : Make plans for the improvement projects
    • Step 4 : Implement the plans with strictly compliance.
    • Step 5 : Follow up and report the actions and results
    • Step 6 : Perform corrective actions where needed
    • Step 7 : Improve the process
  5. What were the biggest mistakes you made?
    • Lacking experience in selecting suppliers who were capable to provide equipment validation services
    • Failing to encourage staff members when they faced challenges, which resulted in reduced motivation in implementing their work.
  6. What is the best advice you can give to others?

    Implementing the laboratory quality management system will be very difficult at first, but once it starts showing the effects, QMS will be the vital element for satisfying the customers.