Lab Matters Summer 2018 - Page 20

quality systems L-SIP Increases Assessment, Reassessment Numbers by Tina Su, MPH, manager, Quality Systems The Laboratory System Improvement Program (L-SIP) saw a slight uptick this spring in both assessment and reassessment numbers. The Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (VA DCLS) convened an assessment in April, while the City of Milwaukee Health Department Laboratory (MHDL)—the first local public health laboratory system to complete a reassessment—held its event in May. Both laboratories brought together system partners, including representatives from the health and environmental departments and academia, for a one-day assessment. Facilitators led breakout groups through a discussion of the ten sections of the L-SIP assessment tool, which correspond to the 10 Essential Public Health Services (see sidebar). Through this dialogue, the system partners gained a better understanding of system strengths and opportunities for improvement. VA DCLS Assessment In Virginia, Essential Services #1, #2, #3, #5, #6, #7 and #10 were recognized as system strengths, while Essential Services #4, #8, and #9 were deemed areas needing improvement. VA DCLS Laboratory Director Denise Toney described her L-SIP experience with enthusiasm, “What a great opportunity to hear such positive feedback on all the different types of activities the laboratory provides each and every day but also to learn specifically about what we can do to improve our laboratory testing services in order to better meet the needs of our stakeholders.” MHDL Reassessment In Milwaukee, Essential Services #3, #6 and #7 were identified as system strengths, whereas Essential Service #9 was found to have low activity within the system. MHDL Director Sanjib Denise Toney, laboratory director of the Virginia Division of Laboratory Services and Sanjib Bhattacharyya, laboratory director of the City of Milwaukee Health Department laboratory, posed with their L-SIP Certificates of Participation, which were awarded to them at the 2018 APHL Annual Meeting Bhattacharyya described Milwaukee’s L-SIP reassessment as very timely. “It has been about eight years since we conducted our first L-SIP assessment. Changes in leadership, partners and areas of priorities prompted us to consider reassessment of our system’s performance,” Dr. Bhattacharyya said. “We also wanted to do a reality check on previously identified priority essential service areas, which (we) had been working toward during past years. The reassessment allowed us to verify the As of July 1, 2018, 36 state PHL systems have held an assessment and five a reassessment. At the local level, five PHL systems have held an assessment and one a reassessment. availability of resources and services to the community and the impact of PHL practices in sustainable quality improvement at the local system level.” With assistance from APHL Quality Systems Manager Tina Su and contractor Anne Weber, the MHDL team was able to utilize tools developed during its initial 2010 assessment to improve planning for its reassessment. “There were a lot more challenges during the first assessment, since we had to customize the L-SIP guidelines for local lab use. This time, with 18 LAB MATTERS Summer 2018 PublicHealthLabs @APHL