The General Authority for healthcare accreditation and regulation (GAHAR) announced the launch of its first educational platform for clinical laboratories, Egyptian laboratories knowledge bank (Elab), as the first digital platform of its kind in Egypt, the Middle East and Africa, specialized in spreading knowledge of standards for accreditation of medical laboratories and training on these standards and making them available for free, with the aim of raising the efficiency of all Groups working in the field of clinical laboratories at their various technical and administrative levels to assist laboratories in obtaining GAHAR 2021 accreditation to enter the universal health insurance network.
Dr. Ashraf Ismail, head of the General Authority for Health Accreditation and Regulation, confirmed that the new online platform represents a qualitative leap in the field of medical laboratories, as it provides introductory and educational programs, visual content and guiding tools, for all providers of laboratory services in Egypt to learn how to comply with the requirements of standards and leverage the performance to the level at which medical laboratories can succeed in obtaining the accreditation of the GAHAR, adding that the platform also provides mechanisms for comparing laboratories with each other, which is the essence of ensuring the quality of laboratory tests and improving them on a periodic and sustainable basis.
This came during his opening speech at the conference held at the authority’s headquarters in Nasr City to launch the platform, which was attended by Dr. Islam Abu Youssef, Vice President of the GAHAR, and Prof. Nouran Al-Ghandour, Prof. Sayed Al-Oqdah, Dr. Ahmed Safwat, members of the authority’s board of directors, Dr. Hossam Abu Sati, executive director of the authority, representatives of Roche Diagnostics Egypt, members of the committee for preparing and developing standards for the accreditation of medical analysis laboratories, as well as a group of experts and specialists in medical laboratories.
The head of the GAHAR explained that the Egyptian Laboratories knowledge bank Elab educational platform provides its services free of charge to all categories of laboratories (governmental, university and private sector) in all governorates, regardless of the size of their work or the levels of service they provide.
The choice of the medical laboratories category to launch the first educational platforms of the authority came due to the huge number of licensed medical laboratories in Egypt, which exceeds 16 thousand laboratories, and added that the laboratory examination of the patient is a major determinant in adopting the appropriate treatment model for his medical condition, explaining that the laboratory obtaining the accreditation of the authority is the gateway to work under the umbrella of the universal health insurance system, which ensures the provision of a world-class service, as the Egyptian standards for medical laboratories issued by the authority obtained international accreditation from the International Society for Quality in Health Care “ISQUA” for the first time in the history of the health system Success rate of 98%.
He continued: The most important thing that distinguishes the criteria for the accreditation of Egyptian laboratories, without their counterparts in the world, is that they were directed towards opening the path of direct communication between the clinical laboratory doctor and the referring doctor for the case to consult about the extent to which the patient needs laboratory tests without others and their appropriate timing according to the latest international tests according to the development of the patient’s condition, which is What we plan to activate in the universal health insurance system by linking all health service providers within the system to a unified electronic system, which is reflected in ensuring the quality of service obtained by the beneficiary and the optimal use of resources and avoiding waste, which has reached the global rate in the field of laboratory examination to 40%
For his part, Eng. Moataz Nassef, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Roche Diagnostics Egypt, praised the joint cooperation with the work team of the GAHAR Authority, expressing his pride in the steps taken by the Authority to control and govern the health sector, such as: applying digital transformation mechanisms, and strengthening partnership between the public and private sectors. And drawing on the expertise of both of them, he affirmed the continued support of the partnership between the two sides to advance the level of quality as one of the success partners in an integrated health system that works with the highest international quality standards and aims to improve the patient’s journey and reduce the burden of disease on the Egyptian state.
He added: We are fully aware of the role of laboratories in the medical system, as 66% of medical decisions, whether curative, diagnostic or preventive, depend on laboratory tests, and this event today serves as an eyewitness to the authority’s awareness of the importance of this role and effective work to advance this The sector and its development, and our partnership with the General Authority for Accreditation and Health Control comes in this context, where we honor our role in securing the resources and capabilities and gathering the expertise necessary for the success of the platform, as we aim together to develop the health sector in Egypt through an interactive educational platform whose role will not be limited to teaching laboratory standards only but it includes everything related to quality and international standard practices.
On the most important services provided by the Egyptian laboratories knowledge bank, Dr. Rania Al-Sharqawi, Professor of clinic Analyses at Alexandria University and Head of the Committee for the Preparation and Development of Medical Laboratories Standards, that the platform contains a detailed explanation of the criteria for accrediting medical laboratories with its first version 2021, and the user can view references and scientific materials for all technical disciplines through the platform’s digital library, in addition to what it provides. From the exchange of experiences and the sharing of ideas and visions regarding health affairs at the national, regional and international levels, as well as allowing participation in conferences and specialized events in all fields of medical laboratories and all that is new in this field, which enhances Egypt’s leading role in providing services and laboratory consultations in accordance with the latest global trends.
She added that the Egyptian laboratories knowledge bank, which is the first of its kind at the local and regional levels, aims primarily at raising the efficiency of workers and unifying the efforts of all sectors in medical laboratories in facing problems related to the level of quality of their services by providing advice in achieving the required level of all analysis laboratories technically and administratively to ensure the standardization of the level Quality of service under the umbrella of universal health insurance through the availability of an interactive window through which questions are asked in various fields and answered by a group of carefully selected experts from various Egyptian universities, governmental and non-governmental bodies and institutions.
It is noteworthy that the standards of medical analysis laboratories issued by the GAHAR target all categories of laboratories (governmental, university and private sector) with the coverage of every field of work inside the laboratory, and they apply to: independent laboratories and specialized clinical laboratories (example: genetic testing laboratories, molecular biology laboratory, laboratory Bacteriology), while it does not apply to non-clinical laboratories (with research and calibration purposes), and hospital laboratories that are subject to hospital accreditation standards, except in the presence of special controls stipulated by the standards.