• Implementing an intensified mentorship approach towards accelerated medical laboratory accreditation in 10 counties in Kenya

      Musau, Susan K.; Mwachari, Christina; Kirui, Elvis; Muthoni, Junghae; Lascko, Taylor; Blanco, Natalia; Abimiku, Alashle; Koech, Emily (AOSIS Open Journals Publishing AOSIS (Pty) Ltd, 2022-01-01)
      Background: Despite Kenya’s roll-out of the Strengthening Laboratory Management Towards Accreditation programme in 2010, most laboratories had not made significant or tangible improvements towards accreditation by 2016. In April 2016, the University of Maryland, Baltimore enrolled 27 facilities in the standard Strengthening Laboratory Management Towards Accreditation programme. Objective: This study aimed to describe and evaluate the implementation of an intensified mentorship strategy on laboratory accreditation. Methods: In October 2017, the University of Maryland, Baltimore implemented intensive mentorship in 27 hospital laboratories in Nairobi, Kiambu, Meru, Embu, Muranga, Nyeri, Laikipia, Nyandarua, Tharaka-Nithi, and Kirinyaga counties in Kenya. Laboratories were paired with competent mentors whose skills were matched to facility gaps. Baseline and follow-up assessments were done between April 2016 and March 2019 using the World Health Organization’s Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Process Towards Accreditation Checklist and overall scores of the 12 Quality System Essentials and star ratings (from zero to five, based on scores) used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intensified mentorship. Results: In September 2017, 14 laboratories scored zero stars, three scored one star, eight scored two stars, one scored three stars, and one laboratory was accredited. By March 2019, eight laboratories were accredited, five scored four stars, 10 scored three stars, three scored two stars, and only one scored one star. The average score change with the intensified approach was 81.5 versus 53.9 for the standard approach. Conclusion: The intensified mentorship strategy resulted in fast-tracked progress towards laboratory accreditation and can be adopted in similar resource-limited settings. © 2022. The Authors.