The Sheikh Khalifa Medical City - Ajman (SKMCA), in partnership with Cerner, has been working as one team since 2016 to transform healthcare delivery in the northern emirates in partnership with The Ministry of Presidential Affairs (MoPA). This project by SKMCA is one of the medical initiatives of H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
After COVID-19 hit the UAE earlier this year, the Cerner team was instrumental in helping the SKMCA laboratory department achieve the ISO 15189 medical laboratory accreditation through virtual means. This milestone proved that the SKMCA team passed the stress test, as it had to tackle the pandemic head-on through the COVID-19 clinical initiatives program while maintaining its 2020 program of work.
What is in it for all of us?
Accreditation promotes trust in laboratories and confidence among authorities, health care providers, and patients. Furthermore, accredited laboratories warrant that critical procedures influencing the diagnostic and therapeutic methodologies are conducted in a standardized manner with minimal errors.
Such accreditation will assure the SKMCA patients since the laboratory will be recognized for superior test reliability, operational performance, quality management, and competence. Additionally, the accreditation will help the SKMCA clinical team elevate the patient experience, by supporting the accuracy of the decision-making process as per the international standards and best practices.
How was this milestone achieved?
With the pandemic requiring physical distancing, SKMCA proposed initiating the audit process remotely using virtual tools, becoming the first facility worldwide to be ISO 15189 audited entirely without the need for auditors to be present onsite.
The SKMCA IT and laboratory teams, in partnership with Cerner, facilitated the virtual audit process by ensuring all the laboratory reports were updated in due times, contributing to numerous workflow changes, design updates, reference range updates, and other enhancements throughout this journey.
The auditors seamlessly assessed the laboratory process from the pre-examination of the sample until the finalization of the report.
SKMCA and Cerner collaborated on the overall audit process amidst pandemic lockdown restrictions including travel, social distancing, and working from home, thus supporting the SKMCA laboratory personnel without disturbing the normal care of the hospitalized patients. Additionally, the required tools and infrastructure were made available at very short notice by the IT onsite team.
Looking forward to a brighter future
As we continue to support SKMCA’s vision of elevating the patient experience and care collaboration, the strategic plan of the SKMCA laboratory team includes focusing on attaining the College of American Pathologists (CAP) accreditation by early 2021. The CAP laboratory accreditation will help the SKMCA laboratory maintain the accuracy of test results, manage rapidly evolving changes in laboratory medicine and technology, and facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices among pathology and laboratory medicine peers.
Cerner continuously adapts to new and challenging environments, supporting our clients on their path to excellence and making communities a better place to live. Cerner looks forward to supporting the SKMCA laboratory team in their upcoming CAP accreditation.
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