Original Research

Improving laboratory quality and capacity through leadership and management training: Lessons from Zambia 2016–2018

Felicity Gopolang, Fales Zulu-Mwamba, Davy Nsama, Annika Kruuner, Dailes Nsofwa, Ishmael Kasvosve, Royce Gomo, Tiny Motlhabane, Bhavna Chohan, Olusegun Soge, Daniel Osterhage, Nancy Campbell, Michael Noble, Ann Downer, Jean-Frederic Flandin, Anya Nartker, Catherine Koehn, Linda K. Nonde, Aaron Shibemba, Clement B. Ndongmo, Martin Steinau, Lucy A. Perrone
African Journal of Laboratory Medicine | Vol 10, No 1 | a1225 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajlm.v10i1.1225 | © 2021 Lucy Ann Perrone | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 March 2020 | Published: 30 April 2021

About the author(s)

Felicity Gopolang, Department of Global Health, Schools of Public Health and Medicine, International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
Fales Zulu-Mwamba, Laboratory Services Unit, Directorate of Clinical Care and Diagnostic Services, Ministry of Health Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
Davy Nsama, Laboratory Services Unit, Directorate of Clinical Care and Diagnostic Services, Ministry of Health Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
Annika Kruuner, ZAMBART, Lusaka, Zambia
Dailes Nsofwa, Laboratory Quality Management Systems, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
Ishmael Kasvosve, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana
Royce Gomo, ImmunoGene Labs, Ruwa, Zimbabwe
Tiny Motlhabane, Medical Laboratory Technology Department, Institute of Health Sciences, Gaborone, Botswana
Bhavna Chohan, Department of Global Health, Schools of Public Health and Medicine, International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
Olusegun Soge, Department of Global Health, Schools of Public Health and Medicine, International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
Daniel Osterhage, Department of Global Health, Schools of Public Health and Medicine, International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
Nancy Campbell, Department of Global Health, Schools of Public Health and Medicine, International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
Michael Noble, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Ann Downer, Department of Global Health, Schools of Public Health and Medicine, International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
Jean-Frederic Flandin, Department of Global Health, Schools of Public Health and Medicine, International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
Anya Nartker, Department of Global Health, Schools of Public Health and Medicine, International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
Catherine Koehn, Department of Global Health, Schools of Public Health and Medicine, International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
Linda K. Nonde, HIV and AIDS Twinning Center Program, American International Health Alliance (AIHA), Lusaka, Zambia
Aaron Shibemba, Laboratory Services Unit, Directorate of Clinical Care and Diagnostic Services, Ministry of Health Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
Clement B. Ndongmo, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
Martin Steinau, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
Lucy A. Perrone, Department of Global Health, Schools of Public Health and Medicine, International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States


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Abstract

Background: Competent leadership and management are imperative for delivering quality laboratory services; however, few laboratory managers receive job-specific training in organisational management and leadership.

Objective: To develop and evaluate participants’ competencies in organisational leadership and management as measured through learner and laboratory quality improvement assessments.

Methods: This professional development programme employed a mentored, blended learning approach, utilising in-person didactic and online training, with the practical application of a capstone project in the laboratories. Programme impact was evaluated through a series of pre- and post-laboartory assessments using the Stepwise Laboratory Improvement Process Towards Accreditation checklist, as well as learner-competency assessments through online quizzes and discussions.

Results: From 2016 to 2018, 31 managers and quality officers from 16 individual laboratories graduated from the programme having completed capstone projects addressing areas in the entire laboratory testing process. Laboratories increased their compliance with the International Organization for Standardization 15189 standard and all but two laboratories significantly increased their accreditation scores. Two laboratories gained three stars, two laboratories gained two stars, and five laboratories gained one star. Five laboratories subsequently achieved International Organization for Standardization 15189 accreditation in 2019.

Conclusion: This programme taught leadership theory to laboratory managers and allowed them to implement leadership and management practices in the laboratory setting. Programmes such as this complement existing laboratory quality management training programmes such as Strengthening Laboratory Management Toward Accreditation.


Keywords

leadership; quality management; workforce development

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