Event in Limelight:
CAP Accreditation Journey- Excellence in Total Quality Management
From healthcare perspective, accreditation is defined as a robust process involving an official review of an organization to ensure that it meets official regulatory requirements and standards. College of American Pathologists (CAP), laboratory accreditation program was initiated in 1961. This accreditation is regarded as the epitome of laboratory excellence in total quality management. The process entails a continuous quality improvement journey subjected to a stringent review of the entire operations by an external team of laboratory professionals (trained CAP auditors) using more than 3000 standards. Compared to other standards and quality management programs CAP accreditation holds a distinct edge, based on the detailed set of factors and areas it inspects focused upon performance of clinical laboratories. The standards are broad-based statements that specify the requirements for the director of the laboratory, physical facilities and safety, quality management, administrative requirements of the program, performance improvement, and inspection. In a nutshell, CAP accreditation ensures that the laboratories demonstrate continuous steps to identify and correct deficient areas and improve performance, in compliance with the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 regulatory requirements. AKUH Clinical Laboratories is the largest laboratory network in Pakistan. Housing the hub at the main clinical laboratory in Karachi, the network comprises of more than 291 collection units and 13 regional stat laboratories, across the country. With a highly trained team of professionals, and state-of-the-art automated equipment, the laboratories offer over 500 different types of testing mounting to approximately 10 million tests annually. The AKUH clinical laboratory achieved CAP accreditation in 2016, then successfully passed the biennial review in 2018. In the wake of COVID-19, the subsequent re-accreditation audit took place from 10-11th March 2022. In this comprehensive audit a team of eight international CAP trained auditors physically inspected the facility. The two days inspection involved a thorough and stringent review of Clinical Chemistry, Haematology & Transfusion medicine, Microbiology, Molecular Pathology, HLA and Cytogenetics, Immunology, Point of care testing, Coagulation and Flow Cytometry, Histopathology and Cytopathology, laboratory general and safety. Subsequently, on 2nd June 2022, we received our 3rd CAP re-acreditation with ZERO deficiency for the main lab Karachi, which is a testament of the highest standards of total quality management. The CAP inspection team leader quoted that “AKU lab is one of the best labs in the region and are well on their way to become one of the best labs in the world”. Collection of glimpses from the recent audit is presented here:
Team POCT with CAP auditor
Histopathology faculty with the auditor
Metabolomics Book Club-A New Teaching Learning Strategy in Chemical Pathology
Developments in the techniques of analytical clinical chemistry and metabolomics are the source of the rapid evolution of a new omics era. The introduction of metabolomics in the Section of Chemical Pathology at Aga Khan University, Karachi Pakistan pertains to important platforms: analytical techniques like GCMS, FTIR, HPLC and LCMSMS. With the introduction of mass spectrometers and HPLC in the section almost eight-nine years ago metabolic profiling of patients suspected of having inherited metabolic disorders can be done. We have screened > 22000 high risk children and adults in past eight years and have identified around 40 disorders using these cutting-edge technologies. The Biochemical Genetics Laboratory in the section has established some targeted metabolomics panels for quantitation of selected groups of metabolites using mass spectrometry specifically for inherited metabolic disorders and new-born screening (LCMSMS).
To facilitate understanding of metabolomics and to enhance the science of metabolomics a monthly activity of ‘Metabolomics Book Club’ was initiated in the section of Chemical Pathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Aga Khan University. The goal was that the participants facilitate the discussion and are at the same level of understanding by the end of the one-hour long monthly session.
- Discussion on various techniques and methods of metabolomics and their sensitivities and specificities was done.
The group identified potential research areas on metabolomics between readings.
Types of samples and testing techniques were discussed by the consultants, residents, and biogenetics lab scientists.
Predictions were made, and clarified difficult and new concepts of metabolomics.
Section of Chemical Pathology, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.
One-hour long monthly session.