To ensure patients maintain confidence in the service and results being provided, EuroGentest, an EU-funded Network of Excellence is promoting the increased uptake and harmonisation of quality management schemes across Europe through a range of activities, including expert - workshops. The first providing practical hands on advice about how to successfully gain and maintain accreditation and open to all genetic testing laboratories was held recently in Leuven.
Organised by Prof Els Dequeker from Leuven, Dr Michael Morris from Geneva, Management Cousulting and Research (MCR), a spin-off from the Catholic University of Leuven and the Unit 1 team, the workshop featured expert-led interactive sessions in small groups. Discussions covered every aspect on quality management and accreditation: ISO and related national standards, document management, non-conformities, auditing, training and IT support. Both organisers and most importantly participants judged the workshop a great success and a second workshop will be held 12th-13th April in Athens.
Participants included lab directors, scientists, technicians and quality managers from both already accredited and non-accredited laboratories across Europe. Typical of accredited participants were Victoria Aldridge and Tony Young from the Regional Molecular Genetics Laboratory in London’s famous Great Ormond Street Hospital which along with Clinical Genetics and Cytogenetics, forms a strategic Genetics Unit and also constitutes the North East Thames Regional Genetics Service that serves a population of approximately 5 million. They explained their reasons for attending: “The laboratory achieved accreditation with Clinical Pathology Accreditation (UK) Ltd in July 2003 and we are currently working towards accreditation review later next year. Accreditation status has become an important part of any laboratory within the UK, particularly in reference to receiving samples from other centres as part of the UK genetic testing network. We found the workshop very enjoyable and worthwhile. Although we had a good idea of the elements of a quality system, the workshop highlighted areas in which we could improve and gave a good overview of all aspects of Quality Management, not just document control. We found the group discussion sessions very worthwhile and it was interesting to hear other peoples views on, amongst other things, laboratory practice and reporting procedures. We would definitely recommend the workshop, particularly to laboratories that are yet to start the accreditation process, as a lot of useful and pragmatic information could be gained before undertaking such a process. Additionally, although we have been accredited for a few years ourselves we still gained knowledge and some useful ideas on how we could improve our current system.”
Kadri Raudsepp from Tartu University Clinics, a leading center for hospitals in Estonia, represented the non-accredited sector: ”I am responsible for one small lab in the Department of Immunoanalyses , called simply the PCR lab,since we are dealing with many different analyses: qualitative and quantitative analyses of HIV, hepatitis viruses, CMV, EBV; HLA typing; leukemic chromosomal translocations etc. As to the question why accredit at all, I would answer perhaps to be competitive in the market, but first of all to ensure yourself that everything is working properly and our results are credible. Many of our departments are already accredited, in our department some groups of tests have been accredited. My lab started quite recently implementing a quality system. Perhaps next year we are going to apply accreditation from the Estonian Accreditation Board for our laboratory as a whole, but for HLA typing we have to apply accreditation from EFI, because our clinic is collaborating with Nordic Stem Cell Bank and they do not accept our HLA results without EFI accreditation. I enjoyed the workshop very much, because I have dealt with quality management for a very short time and during the workshop I received a general overview of it, which I did not have before. When we started our quality system I (and technicians even more) were quite resistant against it, because it just seemed to be boring paperwork and we felt that it impedes our everyday work. Nobody gave us the whole picture or explained to us the aim and purpose of the process. In the workshop we also worked through all the stages of implementing QSM and I got a lot of advice and hints. I also got valuable information about software systems for quality management. I will definitely recommend the EuroGentest workshops to others. First I thought that those labs, who are still moving towards accreditation gained more, but later I realized that there is still much to improve and develop for those labs, who have already been accredited for a long time. I was surprised that so many lab managers seemed to be afraid of computers and new software. Estonians are very keen on computers - most of the public services are available via the internet and we always want the most up-to-date instruments.”
Professor Els Dequeker and Dr Michael Morris were both satisfied with the workshop: “We were delighted with the enthusiasm of the participants and the way in which they took on board the quality message. We now look forward to Athens and the next workshops.”
Richard Hayhurst | alfa
Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University
3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences