The Lebanese Syndicate of Medical Laboratories hosted a media roundtable to announce measures intended to improve the quality and reliability of medical laboratories in Lebanon. The session was headed by Dr. Christian Haddad, president of the Lebanese Syndicate of Medical Laboratories, Dr. Ghazi Zaatari, chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the American University of Beirut (AUB) and Dr. Ghassan Hallak, director of Laboratoires St. Elie Antelias.
Entitled ‘ISO certifications and accreditations: similarities and differences’, the session discussed the importance of implementing the globally recognized standards that aim at achieving excellence at the medical laboratories. “The optimal performance at the laboratories is absolutely critical and adopting global standards is becoming increasingly a necessity at every touch point,” said Dr. Christian Haddad. “Lebanon is one of the most dynamic healthcare markets in the Arab region; hence global standard serves as a call to the medical industry to promptly adopt the best practice framework,” Christian added.
The syndicate aims at initiating the implementation of accreditation standards such as ISO 15189 and CAP, for the clinical laboratories in Lebanon. ISO 15189 issued by the International Standards Organization (ISO), is intended to objectively assess the quality and performance of laboratories at different operational stages within a laboratory starting with the advice to patients and clinicians, collection, transportation, reception and examination of patients’ samples and finishing with reporting and interpreting the results.
As it stands today in Lebanon, Laboratoires St. Elie – Antelias is the first and the only medical laboratory to adopt the ISO 15189 standard. “Obtaining this accreditation further demonstrates our commitment for excellence and quality for the benefit of our patients”, said Dr. Ghassan Hallak, director of Laboratoires St. Elie. “The new standard validates our system to deliver accurate results to the physicians therefore keeping the patient’s health at the center of everything we do,” he added.
The clinical laboratories at the American University of Beirut Medical Center were the first in Lebanon to seek accreditation for its services and it did that from the College of American Pathologists (CAP), a world leader in the accreditation of clinical laboratories based in the USA. “We have been committed to this basic principle in the delivery of our services and it is for that purpose we sought the accreditation from CAP,” commented Dr. Ghazi Zaatari. “In our daily work, the faculty and staff work diligently together to meet these high standards of quality to accomplish the mission of the Department of delivering best care possible to the people of Lebanon and the region,” added Dr. Zaatari.
It is worth mentioning that ISO certificates, such as ISO 9001, specify requirements for Quality Management System (QMS). ISO 9001 is generic and is intended to all organizations, regardless of type, size and product provided. However, ISO 15189 specifies requirements for Quality and Competence in Medical Laboratories. This standard particularly recognizes the laboratory’s superior level of quality, competence of services, and its ability to consistently deliver valid and accurate test results.