The Department of Trade and Industry – Philippine Accreditation Bureau (DTI-PAB), fulfills its mission by aiding the healthcare sector in elevating the standard of its services. As part of this effort, DTI-PAB has prepared free training programs focused on ISO 15189 for medical testing laboratories.

DTI-PAB concluded the first part of its initiative with the “Orientation on the latest version of ISO 15189:2022,” conducted on March 18–19, 2024. The two-part webinar session, held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., witnessed an overwhelming participation of more than 500 attendees from both Facebook Live and Zoom Webinar platforms. The participants came from various medical, clinical, and hospital laboratories, government-owned health facilities, alongside esteemed health professionals.

The event’s success was perceived through the eagerness of participants to explore the details of the ISO 15189 standard and its practical application within their laboratories. Some of the notable inquiries ranged from the necessity of ISO 15189 accreditation for laboratories already accredited on ISO/IEC 17025 to guidance on acquiring a copy of the ISO 15189 standard.  Many participants also showed interest on the process of application for accreditation from the bureau. The overwhelming turnout underscores the increasing interest of the healthcare sector in ISO 15189 which reflects a growing commitment to quality healthcare services across the country.

ISO 15189 sets the highest standards and international benchmark for the quality and competence of medical testing laboratories. Compliance with this standard ensures accuracy, reliability, and proficiency in medical testing procedures, directly impacting patient care and outcomes.

The training initiative is set to be comprised of the following components:

  • Orientation on ISO 15189 — An introductory session offering a detailed discussion on the standard, focusing on its significance, benefits, and the PAB accreditation process, and;
  • Internal Auditor’s Training — Equipping laboratory personnel with the necessary skills to conduct rigorous internal audits, and foster a culture of continual improvement.

The goal of these series of training programs include enhanced competence and proficiency among laboratory staff, to further improve the quality and reliability of healthcare services.  Through these programs, PAB hopes to bring forth better patient outcomes. PAB also aims to increase the demand for accreditation because the increase in the accreditation of medical laboratories nationwide signifies a higher standard of care for all.

This two-part session which is the prelude of the subsequent training programs for the healthcare sector was led by Mr. Marlon Macadamia, RCh., Resource Person and Assessor from the Laboratory Accreditation Division (LAD). His wealth of knowledge and expertise set a precedent for the comprehensive and insightful discussions that followed, to underscore the importance of ISO 15189 compliance for medical laboratories.

Director James Empeño’s opening remarks perfectly captured the essence of the initiative. He emphasized the significant role medical laboratories play in delivering quality healthcare services. Director Empeño’s words made a clear impression on participants, highlighting the significance of continual improvement and lifelong learning in the healthcare sector.

DTI-PAB did not forget to acknowledge the invaluable support of the Department of Health – Health Facilities and Services Regulatory Bureau (DOH-HFSRB) and the Office of Health Laboratories (OHL) in disseminating invitations to their regulated healthcare service facilities. This collaboration underscores the crucial role of regulatory bodies in promoting and supporting voluntary accreditation by DTI-PAB. By supporting and fostering a culture of quality, impartiality, and competence, regulatory agencies play a crucial role in driving continuous improvement of healthcare standards.

Assistant Director Ernani Dionisio’s closing message called for further solidified commitment to elevate healthcare standards. Mr. Dionisio, on behalf of PAB, expressed gratitude for participants’ engagement, and emphasized their enduring dedication to implementing ISO 15189 principles across laboratories nationwide.