Laboratory Quality Audit in 25 Anti-Retroviral Therapy Facilities in North West of Nigeria


Introduction: A laboratory’s ability to consistently produce high-quality and reliable results hinges on adopting laboratory standards that guide daily practices to ensure steady quality improvement. Although assessment is an extremely rewarding exercise in health care quality improvement processes, it is always considered very time consuming and expensive in developing world settings. A quarterly internal audit was conducted in 25 FHI360 supported Antiretroviral Treatment laboratories in the North West of Nigeria which can surely provide reference for other countries. Methodology: A checklist adapted from the World Health Organization/African Regional Office laboratory accreditation checklist was used to quantitatively evaluate 7 quality essentials (QEs). A team composed of technical staff from FHI360, State Ministry of Health and facility laboratory heads, conducted the audits, developed and monitored intervention plans. Information obtained with the checklist was captured in excel, validated and imported into Grappa Prism software version 5.0 for analysis. Results: Most (92%) facilities were at secondary level with (8%) at tertiary level. The mean total score on all QEs across the facilities was 63.34 ± 9.77 in quarter (Q) 1, 68.8 ± 10.91 in Q2, 72.59 ± 8.02 in Q3 and 72.72 ± 9.16 in Q4 (p ≤ 0.0001). The most improved QE through Q1-Q4 was organization and personnel (32.2%), while signage/bench top reference had an 18.6% point decline. In ranking facilities based on differences of total scores between Q4 and Q1, Kachia General Hospital was the highest with 27 point increase. Considering the mean percentage score for all quarters per facility, 4 had ≥ 80%, 19 had between 60%-80% and 2 had <60%. The total non-conformities cited for QI-Q4 were 185, 100, 78 and 64 respectively with highest recorded in internal and external quality control and the least in facility and safety. Conclusion: We recorded some improvement in most QEs confirming the benefits of internal audits, reviews and follow-up. However, much more is needed in terms of technical assistance, capacity building, mentorship, and commitment at facility and state level to meet minimum acceptable laboratory quality standards.

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Jegede, F. , Mbah, H. , Yakubu, T. , Adedokun, O. , Negedu-Momoh, O. and Torpey, K. (2014) Laboratory Quality Audit in 25 Anti-Retroviral Therapy Facilities in North West of Nigeria. Open Journal of Clinical Diagnostics, 4, 193-204. doi: 10.4236/ojcd.2014.44028.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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