The Public Health Care Laboratory 



The website for laboratory personnel in developing countries


Total Quality Management and Public Health Laboratories

TQM brings quality into work processes.

TQM brings quality into work processes!

TQM decreases the reliance on quality assurance alone by building quality into every aspect of the organisation. Improving work processes through standardisation and better training of staff.

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are a major component of any quality system. SOPs are written instruction protocols that include all aspects of work practices and reduce the chances of process variability.

SOPs are effective only if used with rigorous training.  Training enforces the standardisation of practical skills. The initial investment for preparing SOPs might seem high, but over time, the return on the investment might prove higher than expected.

Internal quality control procedures (IQC) are followed every day at the laboratory. IQC procedures are applied to all work processes and to every test done at the laboratory.

IQC procedures ensure that test results are done with utmost care and to the best ability of staff doing the test. IQC procedures control daily quality variances to guarantee reproducibility of test results. When test results are out of the control range or show a certain trend, causes are identified and the method is brought back on track.

External quality assessment (EQA) is concerned with comparability of test results.

Both IQC and EQA are important components of the standardisation process.


The Public Health Care Laboratory - 2001 Gabriele Mallapaty