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New Brunswick to use Ontario model for lab accreditation

FREDERICTON – All New Brunswick hospital laboratories will now be accredited under the Ontario Laboratory Accreditation model, announced Health Minister Madeleine Dubé at the end of May.

“I want to reassure all New Brunswickers that they can be confident about the care they receive in the public health system,” Dubé said. “We have chosen what we feel is the best model to ensure that the laboratories doing patient testing are being accredited to the highest standards.”

The move to a new accreditation model stems from a recommendation made by Justice Paul S. Creaghan through the Commission of Inquiry into Pathology Services at the Miramichi Regional Hospital in 2008. Justice Creaghan's recommendations were intended to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place to ensure the quality of services provided by New Brunswick hospitals.

Creaghan recommended the Department of Health and the two regional health authorities set standards for quality assurance. The department in collaboration with the regional health authorities chose to examine the components of accreditation models to determine which one would best meet the needs of New Brunswick.

An ad-hoc group established in April 2009 has reviewed various laboratory quality control recommendations made by Creaghan. Based on the weighted criteria, the Ontario Laboratory Accreditation model was unanimously recommended as the best to accredit New Brunswick laboratories.

Work is under way to move the laboratories toward the new accreditation model. Ontario Laboratory Accreditation has presented an overview of its model to the Department of Health and executive management and laboratory representatives of the regional health authorities.

Posted June 16, 2011