World Health Organization releases Guide for the Stepwise Laboratory Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLIPTA) in Africa

sliptaFrom the World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO)

All text taken from the WHO AFRO web portal on SLIPTA

Click here to learn more about SLIPTA. ASLM is the WHO SLIPTA implementing partner in Africa.

View or download the WHO Guide for the Stepwise Laboratory Improvement Process Towards Accreditation in the African Region (with checklist)

“In accordance with WHO’s core functions of setting standards and building institutional capacity, WHO-AFRO has established the Stepwise Laboratory Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLIPTA) to strengthen laboratory systems of its Member States.

The Stepwise Laboratory Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLIPTA) is a framework for improving quality of public health laboratories in developing countries to achieve ISO 15189 standards. It is a process that enables laboratories to develop and document their ability to detect, identify, and promptly report all diseases of public health significance that may be present in clinical specimens.

This initiative was spearheaded by a number of critical resolutions, including Resolution AFR/RC58/R2 on Public Health Laboratory Strengthening, adopted by the Member States during the 58th session of the Regional Committee in September 2008 in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and the Maputo Declaration to strengthen laboratory systems. This laboratory quality improvement process towards accreditation further provides a learning opportunity and pathway for continuous improvement, a mechanism for identifying resource and training needs, a measure of progress, and a link to the WHO-AFRO National Health Laboratory Service Networks. Clinical, public health, and reference laboratories participating in the Stepwise Laboratory Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLIPTA) are reviewed bi-annually.

The SLIPTA checklist specifies requirements for quality and competency aimed to develop and improve laboratory services to raise quality to established national standards. The elements of this checklist are based on ISO standard 15189:2007(E) and, to a lesser extent, CLSI guideline GP26-A4; Quality Management System: A model for Laboratory Services; Approved Guideline – Fourth Edition.

The WHO-AFRO Guidance for the Stepwise Laboratory Improvement Process provides a framework for countries to support them in their efforts to strengthen their national laboratory services through the stepwise quality improvement process towards fulfillment of the requirements in the ISO 15189 standard.

The WHO Guidance for the SLIPTA Process has been established in keeping with WHO’s core functions to set standards and norms and to support countries to implement them. This process is intended to encourage, support and recognize the implementation of QMS in medical laboratories in the African region so that African laboratories provide safe, timely and accurate results for patient care and public health purposes.

Laboratories working through the program will progressively develop compliance towards this standard and ultimately be able to apply for accreditation from a nationally, regionally or internationally recognized body.

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for the Stepwise Laboratory Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLIPTA). It describes key elements of the laboratory quality improvement process and details how Member states and partners implement this laboratory systems strengthening initiative.”