What is Accreditation and Why is it Important?

The health industry is one which must be manned by highly trained professionals. These professionals must be able to show that they are capable of what they claim, not only by words or deeds, but by having received accreditation from their governments and agencies.

Accreditation is simply the process of reviewing a healthcare’s ability to meet the standards of practice laid down for their profession. Accreditation plays a vital role in the decision of healthcare consumers in going to one lab and turning their backs on another. For this reason, many laboratories are beginning to see the importance of getting accredited.

 

What Accreditations Do Labs Need?

In the UK, accreditation is the sole responsibility of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). This agency carries out its role by assessing or testing best practice, inspecting facilities of healthcare centres, and carrying out calibration services.

For laboratories, the possession of ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation will suffice. This certification shows that the lab uses medically reliable sampling and testing methods in doing their work. Testing and sampling methods must be valid to meet accreditation.

 

How Does Accreditation Take Place?

Accreditation usually involves thorough inspection of healthcare facilities by the representatives of the UKAS. During this inspection, a written documentation is performed to audit the laboratory’s facilities, staffing, programs and procedures. However, labs do not get a one-time accreditation because of developments in new ways to treat diseases. As soon as a new method of testing phases in and corrects discrepancies in the old method, the old loses its validity.

Getting accreditation from the UKAS doesn’t mean that a laboratory has obtained all of the licences to carry out sampling and test for every drug. This means that every drug or drugs within the same group have their specific test and sampling procedures. It becomes the responsibility of labs to clearly show to their consumers the drugs or drug groups that they have received accreditation for.

Many laboratories will often display this information on their website for visitors to see so as to deliver confidence to potential customers.

 

The Importance of Accreditation

There are many benefits of receiving accreditation apart from the aim of showing that a healthcare facility is reliable. These include the following:

  • Technical Competence: Being accredited will enable a lab to become the lab of choice with matters relating to forensics.
  • Appropriately Resourced: Accreditation is important to show that a laboratory has got adequate staffing, equipment and facilities that are necessary in the industry.
  • Sustainable Performance: Aside showing that a lab has technical competence, accreditation will assist a lab to prove that their methods of testing for disease are done without threat to life and the environment.  This is important because of the prevalence of infectious diseases.
  • Impartial: Accreditation will quickly show that a laboratory is impartial in the discharge of their duties. Once a lab is viewed as being impartial, it will invariably be sought after by bodies requiring impartiality in discharging their duties like the court.

There are other benefits of accreditation, all of which show that it is not a luxury but a necessity for any healthcare facility desiring to provide reliable and valid services to its customers.

 

Article Submitted on behalf of drugrehab-lancashire.uk

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