Quality Management Systems
Key activities Supported by the Laboratory Branch
National Quality Assessment (QA) Program for HIV Rapid Testing
The NDoH has identified as a key priority, the implementation of a national QA program for HIV rapid testing. Through the implementation of a QA program, the quality of HIV testing would markedly improve and adhere to standard operating procedures, thereby resulting in the provision of accurate and reliable HIV rapid test results. Through support from the laboratory program, the NHLS and NICD will support the development of a National Quality assurance implementation plan for HIV rapid testing and implement a comprehensive QA programme in all provinces as detailed in the plan endorsed by NDoH. They will provide ongoing training/re-training, mentorship and assistance to provincial stakeholders, provincial partners and Regional Training Centers providing HRT training on quality assurance/quality improvement exercises; monitor and evaluate effectiveness of training through site visits and assessing data quality using standardized templates.
A Technical Working Group headed by the NDoH which will develop work streams that will focus on implementation of policy, development of policy, e.g. training and certification and QA data management, QA implementation and Post Marketing Surveillance.
Strengthening Laboratory Management Towards Accreditation (SLMTA)
As of 2000, over 100 laboratory departments in 25 facilities have received accreditation from the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS). In an effort to support the NHLS realize its ambitious accreditation strategy, the laboratory program facilitated the introduction and implementation of SLMTA in the NHLS. The program is currently being piloted in selected NHLS laboratories and is set to be expanded following the completion of the pilot. Furthermore, in collaboration with ASLM, the laboratory program supports the training of certified auditors to facilitate baseline and exit audits for laboratories either seeking to enroll, or enrolled in the SLMTA program using the Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Process (SLIPTA) checklist. Additionally, training of these certified auditors will serve to increase the pool of available certified auditors to support the further expansion of the implementation of SLMTA.