The majority of medical decisions in developed countries are based on medical laboratory tests. However, in many limited-resource settings, the pathology and medical laboratories have been neglected and are not optimally utilized to ensure accurate diagnoses. The purpose of this quantitative, non-experimental, cross-sectional research was to assess the quality of medical laboratories and examine the causes of poor quality medical laboratory services in Kampala, Uganda. A quantitative survey was conducted using the Laboratory Assessment checklist. This survey tool was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and modified by the Ugandan Ministry of Health (MoH) to use for assessing and improving the status of the Quality System Essentials (QSE) for laboratories in Uganda. The assessment included surveying "key informants" from all 83 moderate/high complexity laboratories in Kampala. The key informant was identified as the individual in charge of the laboratory facilities and presumably most knowledgeable about the laboratory operations within each healthcare facility. Data were collected through an on-site assessment. The research questions were aligned to the research problem by including questions focusing on identifying the level of quality offered by the majority of moderate/high complexity medical laboratories in Kampala. The study results showed that the majority (75.9%) of laboratories offer poor quality laboratory services. The results showed a strong and positive correlation between laboratories' human resources factors and the laboratory QSE aspects r (81) = 0.88, p < 0.0001. The results also showed a strong and positive correlation between laboratories' documents and records factors and the laboratory QSE aspects r (81) = 0.84, p < 0.0001. This study was the first to provide quantitative evaluation of the quality status of both private and public laboratories in Uganda. Due to the significant potential benefits of identifying opportunities for improvements in laboratories, this study was supported by the Ugandan President Office for research and the MoH. The results identified areas of weaknesses and opportunities for improvements in laboratories in Kampala. This research is replicable and may serve as a baseline for future, mixed methods research on laboratory quality and for larger laboratory assessment and laboratory quality improvement studies.
|Commitee:||Johnson, Shirley E., Klein, Jaime J.|
|Department:||Business and technology Management|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Management, Sub Saharan Africa Studies, Health care management|
|Keywords:||Accreditation, Capacity development, Diagnostics, Health care, Medical laboratory, Uganda|
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