Baseline Assessment and Mentoring visits to DMCs
Implementing QMS improves the efficiency of laboratory services, including identification of the most probable causes of error and delay in diagnosis which may have cost implications to the citizens and the health systems. Baseline assessment was conducted by IRL, NRL and ICMR project teams to assess all aspects of the healthcare cascade including pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical phases of TB laboratory testing by evaluating the laboratory processes in Delhi and Odisha in June 2021. Subsequent, Supportive – Supervision / Mentoring visits to DMCs were conducted through site visits by IRL/NRL Microbiologist, Program Staff designated by NTEP and the SHARE INDIA project team. Frequency of visits and follow-up visits were decided based on the QMS scores and the QMS tool was used during every visit. The major criteria for re-visit included handholding to improve QMS score/Unsatisfactory EQA result.
Certification of DMCs with 5 Star rating
As per the score obtained during the assessments, the project DMCs were given a Star rating. The star rating is expected to keep the motivation of DMC staff. For example, the laboratory scoring 2 star will look forward to have a higher score and each additional star will motivate DMC staff to score higher till it reaches the 5 Star level. Additionally, Star rating will help supervisory staff and SHARE INDIA to use different skills and level of supportive supervision to bring the laboratories to 5 Star rating. The laboratories with a low score will need more hand holding in contrast with laboratories with a higher score, which will require virtual support. On being approved by ICMR, CTD and NTEP, all the DMCs scoring 5 Stars will be awarded with a ‘Certificate of Excellence in QMS’.
Certification of DMCs will be based on successful EQA performance, utilization of rapid molecular diagnostics and attainment of 5 Star rating on evaluation by external assessors (ICMR, CTD, IRL/NRL of other states). In case of unsatisfactory performance, the external assessors will provide an Action Plan for corrective measures to the DMC. A follow-up assessment of the DMC will be done after 6 months.