The microbiology laboratory of the Ho Chi Minh City Children’s Hospital II received an award of International Organization for Standardization 15189 (ISO 15189) accreditation on Tuesday.
The laboratory has also been recognized by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health as the 8th laboratory in Vietnam supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to be presented with this accreditation.
Thus, from now on patients can be confident that the internationally-accredited laboratory will provide them with high quality testing services that are accurate, reliable, and timely, the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City said in a statement.
The laboratory receives funding from PEPFAR, technical guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC), and training from nonprofit FHI360, it added.
“After 14 months of hard work together, we are very proud that our laboratory practices now meet international standards. To achieve this, we changed old working habits, learned new concepts of quality management, and enhanced our monitoring and evaluation,” said Dr. Tran Thi Ngoc Anh, head of the microbiology laboratory at the pediatric hospital, located in District 1.
“We could not have succeeded without the enthusiasm and dedication of the laboratory team, support from hospital management, and financial and technical support from our partners, U.S. CDC, FHI360 and the Ministry of Health’s Vietnam Administration for Medical Services,” Dr. Anh added.
The quality of laboratory test results for patients is a growing health care concern in Vietnam. Inaccurate and delayed test results can have a significant and direct impact on health outcomes and public health.
Hence, medical laboratories receiving official international accreditation are major accomplishments for Vietnam in the effort to improve the quality of laboratories, the consulate said.
ISO 15189 accreditation is a lengthy process which requires a medical laboratory to meet specific international requirements that ensure quality, such as laboratory services for patients, the collection of patient samples, the accurate interpretation of test results, acceptable turnaround times, and the laboratory’s role in the education and training of health care staff.