According to statistics, up to 70-80% of care decisions regarding a patient’s health are made based on test results. With the mission to provide high quality services in analysing and testing for both patients and doctors, the FV Laboratory & Blood Bank constantly looks to improve its standards through achieving prestigious international accreditation whenever possible. One of these is the Sigma Verification of Performance Certification Programme (Sigma VP) overseen by Westgard QC. This organisation aims to set the standards for quality measurement and evaluate the effectiveness of laboratories around the world.
From 2018 up until now, FV Hospital’s Laboratory & Blood Bank has undergone a very rigorous survey process. This has included increasing professional training for its staff to understand the Sigma VP system and ensuring that the quality management processes are based on Sigma VP’s measurement standards. Unlike other more theoretical based programmes, Westgard QC focuses on evaluating actual performance by measuring the analytical quality of specific tests. This is achieved through reviewing the following factors; implementing proper working methods, appropriately training employees, ensuring the quality management process is applied correctly, and the final test results being accurate. Following a survey of the laboratory, on the 26th of July, 2019, the FV Hospital’s Laboratory & Blood Bank Department was awarded the Sigma VP 6 Certificate, the highest level in Sigma VP’s ranking system. Out of 16 / 20 survey criteria the laboratory achieved maximum points, level 6, while the remaining 4 criteria achieved level 4 or higher.
Over the last 25 years, the Sigma VP programme has been the standard for measuring quality and evaluating the effectiveness of more than 60 laboratories in 10 countries around the world. Sigma VP’s ranking system consists of 6 levels, of which level 3 – 4 is considered to be the average standard of laboratories globally today. The Sigma VP ranking is considered an international standard measurement, which clinicians can rely on to provide reliable, accurate results when diagnosing and treating patients.
The Westgard Sigma certification is assessed annually for performance. Each following year, hospitals can expand the scope of the survey, and improve their performance compared to previous surveys conducted by the organisation. Through this programme, the FV Laboratory’s analytical performance is compared and evaluated to meet international standards just like other major laboratories in the world.