By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The College of American Pathologists (CAP), an internationally recognized standard for clinical laboratories, has accredited the Aga Khan University Hospital’s Clinical Laboratories, the first laboratory in Pakistan.
With 3,000 CAP requirements, accreditation is a rigorous process. A team of nine CAP inspectors, practicing professionals qualified through a CAP training programme, visited Pakistan last year to audit the laboratory’s quality records, staff qualifications, validation of tests, equipment, facilities, safety programmes and overall management.
The University Hospital’s CEO, Hans Kedzierski, stressed that clinical laboratory testing is an essential part of a quality healthcare service. “Since most of the decisions regarding a patient’s diagnosis and treatment are usually based on laboratory test results, for patients, this means timely and more accurate diagnosis.”
“Striving to meet patient satisfaction drives the hospital to constantly review itself for improvements every day,” he added.
AKUH is also the only teaching hospital in Pakistan that is accredited by the Joint Commission International, a gold standard in healthcare delivery.
“The CAP accreditation is an attestation that AKUH Clinical Laboratories has achieved the gold standard in laboratory medicine,” Shagufta Hassan, Chief Operating Officer, Clinical Laboratories and Outreach Services, remarked.
“AKUH Clinical Laboratories has always applied the highest standards of quality and this certification is a manifestation of the same.”
At a debriefing after the audit, CAP inspectors expressed how they were impressed with the standards already applied, which made their work much easier.
“I would like to congratulate Aga Khan University Hospital for being the first CAP accredited laboratory in Pakistan,” said the CAP President Richard C. Friedberg in his message to the Hospital community.
“We know that the journey has been the long one, but we are sure and certain that the benefits of our accreditation and your continual desire to improve your services, your performance, your accuracy, your reliability, and your precision, will benefit the patients in Pakistan”.
“From its founding, the Aga Khan University and its hospitals have aimed to achieve international standards in our teaching, research, and care for patients,” Firoz Rasul, President, Aga Khan University, said.
“Validation of our practices through international accreditation gives patients the assurance that standards match the best in the world.”
AKUH Clinical Laboratories is the largest laboratory network in Pakistan. Besides the main clinical laboratory in Karachi, there are 250 regional laboratories, medical centres and specimen collection units in over 100 cities around the country.
With a highly trained team of over 50 faculty and 250 technologists, supported by state-of-the-art automated equipment, the laboratories offer over 700 types of testing overall, 10 million tests annually. For the convenience of patients, the laboratories also offer online reports, SMS alerts and detailed multi-column reports.
“We are committed to the delivery of accurate results for our patients by providing highest levels of quality, service standards and transparency,” Dr Farooq Ghani, Service Line Chief, Clinical Laboratories, stated.
The US federal government recognizes the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program, begun in the early 1960s as being equal-to or more-stringent-than the U.S. government’s own inspection programme.
As the leading organization with more than 18,000 board-certified pathologists, CAP serves patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine worldwide.
The CAP’s Laboratory Improvement Programs, initiated 65 years ago, currently has presence in more than 100 countries, accrediting nearly 8,000 laboratories and providing proficiency testing to 20,000 laboratories worldwide.