Lessons from the Field

Implementing SLMTA in the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service: lessons learned

Eric N. Wakaria, Charles O. Rombo, Margaret Oduor, Serah M. Kambale, Kimberly Tilock, Daniel Kimani, Ernest Makokha, Peter M. Mwamba, Jane Mwangi
African Journal of Laboratory Medicine | Vol 6, No 1 | a585 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajlm.v6i1.585 | © 2017 Eric N. Wakaria, Charles O. Rombo, Margaret Oduor, Serah M. Kambale, Kimberly Tilock, Daniel Kimani, Ernest Makokha, Peter M. Mwamba, Jane Mwangi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 October 2016 | Published: 24 April 2017

About the author(s)

Eric N. Wakaria, Global Communities, Nairobi,, Kenya
Charles O. Rombo, Kenya Ministry of Health, Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service, Nairobi, Kenya
Margaret Oduor, Kenya Ministry of Health, Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service, Nairobi, Kenya
Serah M. Kambale, Global Communities, Nairobi, Kenya
Kimberly Tilock, Global Communities, Nairobi, Kenya
Daniel Kimani, Division of Global HIV and TB, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kenya
Ernest Makokha, Division of Global HIV and TB, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kenya
Peter M. Mwamba, Global Communities, Nairobi, Kenya
Jane Mwangi, Division of Global HIV and TB, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nairobi, Kenya


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Abstract

Background: The Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service (KNBTS) is mandated to provide safe and sufficient blood and blood components for the country. In 2013, the KNBTS National Testing Laboratory and the six regional blood transfusion centres were enrolled in the Strengthening Laboratory Management Toward Accreditation (SLMTA) programme. The process was supported by Global Communities with funding from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Methods: The SLMTA implementation at KNBTS followed the standard three-workshop series, on-site mentorships and audits. Baseline, midterm and exit audits were conducted at the seven facilities, using a standard checklist to measure progress. Given that SLMTA was designed for clinical and public health laboratories, key stakeholders, guided by Global Communities, tailored SLMTA materials to address blood transfusion services, and oriented trainers, auditors and mentors on the same.

Results: The seven facilities moved from an average of zero stars at baseline to an average of three stars at the exit audit. The average baseline audit score was 38% (97 points), midterm 71% (183 points) and exit audit 79% (205 points). The Occurrence Management and Process Improvement quality system essential had the largest improvement (at 67 percentage points), from baseline to exit, whereas Facilities and Safety had the smallest improvement (at 31 percentage points).

Conclusion: SLMTA can be an effective tool for preparing a blood transfusion service for accreditation. Key success factors included customising SLMTA to blood transfusion activities; sensitising trainers, mentors and auditors on operations of blood transfusion service; creating SLMTA champions in key departments; and integrating other blood transfusion-specific accreditation standards into SLMTA.


Keywords

SLMTA; Quality; Blood transfusion; Safety; Kenya

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