By Henry Uche
EL-LAB Medical Diagnostics and Research Centre, an indigenous medical laboratory in Lagos, has received a second cycle of reaccreditation to ISO 15189:2012 International by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) and additional accreditation to the same standard by the Nigerian National Accreditation system (NINAS).
Briefing newsmen in Lagos, the CEO of EL-LAB Limited, Prince Elochukwu Adibo, who doubles as the national president, Guild of Private Medical Laboratory Directors of Nigeria (GMLD), explained that accreditation of any medical laboratory to an acceptable standard such as ISO 15189 has the considerable potential to improve the quality of healthcare for patients through the reduction of testing errors and attendant decreases in inappropriate treatment.
According to him, ISO 15189 further ensures these by assessing the competence of the quality management system within the laboratory, providing a framework for increased analytical quality and verifying that the laboratory is not deviating from quality and competence standards. While meeting these standards, users of the laboratory services, including laboratory personnel, can be more confident of the accuracy and reliability of outputs. Laboratory accreditation is, therefore, emerging as a preferred framework for building quality medical laboratory systems.
He noted that it was the first time that a medical facility would receive two accreditation certificates of ISO 15189 standards in Nigeria.
“EL-LAB successfully attained the first cycle of accreditation to ISO 15189:2012 International Standard in December 2016 and it elapsed after four years. Through a very rigorous, painstaking and expensive process, we have successfully achieved a second cycle of accreditation with MLSCN, and a first cycle with NINAS, further confirming consistency of standard of our medical laboratory testing.”
Adibo stated that, in Nigeria, based on data obtained from MLSCN Accreditation Service, only 10 medical laboratories are accredited to ISO 15189:2012 standard with three of them being privately owned. “The data from NINAS website shows only two medical laboratories in the entire country, and EL-LAB is one of them. A few other medical laboratories are reported to have accreditation to this standard from foreign accreditation bodies.”
“This recognition will continue to drive our commitment to quality delivery, with acceptable international standards. This is the highest quality standard any medical laboratory can attain globally. It is the symbol of excellence and assurance that the quality of service rendered in EL-LAB is at per with what is obtainable anywhere in the world.”
He also called on government and private laboratory administrators and owners to make concerted efforts and take steps towards accreditation of their various laboratories to ISO15189:2012 standard with the practice of quality management system of which the country through the regulatory bodies has adopted as minimal standard with guidelines to this already being developed. This will increase confidence of laboratory users and also reposition our country on the international map of quality health care delivery.
In his remark, Executive Chairman, Amuwo-Odofin Local Government, Engr Valentine Buraimoh, applauded the leadership and staff of EL-LAB for their consistency in offering quality laboratory services to their customers, and the medical supports to the people of the local government.