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POORLY PERFORMING LABORATORIES – WHAT ROLE/S FOR THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT?

Stanford, Debbie

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Pathology - Journal of the RCPA: 2010 - Volume 42 - Issue - p S5
  • Free

If the quality of pathology services in a laboratory, as assessed under the national accreditation standards framework developed by the National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council, is found to be below minimum levels and a likely risk to public safety, withdrawal of Medicare eligibility is a powerful sanction that can be applied by Medicare Australia on behalf of the Australian Government. There is a strong public expectation that governments in general should not be seen to put public safety at risk by continuing to fund laboratories where there is a reasonable belief that they are providing an unsafe or highly questionable quality of service.

However, in order for this sanction to be applied fairly and effectively, it depends on the existence of a robust and transparent system of assessment against well known and accepted laboratory quality standards which are aimed at promoting continuous improvement. It is in the development and maintenance of that quality framework, the work for which is almost entirely done by committed pathology professionals, that the Australian Government (through the Department of Health and Ageing) has the opportunity to create partnerships with the pathology profession to support this process. This session will highlight some of the partnerships that are already in place and flag some ideas for future collaboration.

© 2010 Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia