Today marks World Accreditation Day as a global initiative, jointly established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation. This year’s theme focuses on how accreditation can be a global tool to support public policy for all areas in the public sector. Increasingly, federal, provincial, and local authorities rely upon accreditation to demonstrate value and assure competency for important public policy priorities.
In 2000, Ontario’s MOHLTC initiated the development of an accreditation program for medical laboratory services. This accreditation program helped to transform the province’s lab sector to an, accountable, high-quality, patient-centred system. Today, the Institute of Quality Management for Healthcare (IQMH), an internationally recognized provider of ISO 15189 accreditations, has the mandate to assess the quality and competence of all licensed Ontario labs, through accreditation to the ISO 15189 requirements. The ISO 15189 accreditation certificate is a globally recognized symbol of world class quality that details the requirements for quality and competence within medical laboratories.
The OAML applauds our member laboratories for successfully achieving full 4 year accreditation to this globally recognized standard since the beginning of the Ontario Laboratory Accreditation (OLA) program in 2000.
The OAML also recognizes the important contribution of our member laboratories’ staff, which includes laboratory physicians, pathologists, medical microbiologists, clinical chemists, hematologists and MLTs who use their specialized expertise and knowledge of laboratory medicine to help develop and maintain this program. Staff serve as volunteer assessors and provide their expertise to IQMH’s Advisory Panel.
“Through this accreditation program, the Ministry has put in place a system that supports and delivers consistent, high quality laboratory services that patients and healthcare providers can trust.” said Paul Gould, CEO of the OAML.
The OAML was established in 1978 as the voice of Ontario’s community medical laboratory sector. OAML member laboratories provide 98% of all diagnostic testing for patients outside of hospitals. The Association is composed of 6 members that operate 17 accredited testing facilities and 338 licensed specimen collection centres across Ontario.