Laboratory medicine―regional assessments: from an idea to reality

Why conduct regional assessments?

What are regional assessments? Traditionally, the Diagnostic Accreditation Program has assessed facilities individually. However, many individual facilities form part of a larger group (e.g. laboratories in the same health authority) where certain processes, policies, and procedures are managed at a regional level. Rather than assess each facility individually, a regional assessment assesses them once at the regional level. There are many reasons to conduct regional assessments: 

  • reduce duplication that comes from having every facility in a group completing the same DAP documentation
  • reduce the amount of time facility staff spends in completing an on-site facility assessment
  • improve the quality of the accreditation by assessing all the laboratory medicine 2015 accreditation standards with the appropriate organization’s staff and at the appropriate place
  • improve DAP stakeholder satisfaction with the program—stakeholders asked the DAP to review the assessment process to find areas where it could be improved; the DAP agreed, and moving to regional assessments is one way to make its processes better

How have regional assessments been rolled out?

The regional assessment project began in 2015. The DAP started by using the laboratory medicine 2015 standards to determine which standards would apply to regional systems in health authorities and private laboratories. This was followed by the development of the regional evidence document, communication to stakeholders, and beta testing of the regional assessment process.

What’s next?

As the DAP rolls out the regional assessment model, it will continue to work with stakeholders to design a well-functioning process. Stakeholders can provide feedback to the DAP at