By Glen S. Ramos
SAN FERNANDO City, La Union — Officials from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) yesterday conducted an on-site ocular inspection of the Department of Health Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center (DOH-ITRMC) to assess and evaluate the existing laboratory information system and to provide inputs for the establishment of an Integrated Laboratory Information System for Ilocos Region.
Miura Takashi, JICA Consultant for Laboratory Management said that laboratory information systems are critical to high-quality healthcare service provision and the demand for these systems is growing fast and the healthcare system must be able to meet the resulting technological and workload demands.
“Moreover, lab tests provide the majority of information for clinical decision-making which results in improved clinical outcomes for patients,” Takashi explained.
JICA through the technical cooperation project entitled “Project for Strengthening the Philippine National Health Laboratory Cooperation Network” is currently providing technical assistance to DOH with the objective of strengthening the Philippine Health Laboratory System Surveillance including detecting pathogens and responding to emerging diseases.
DOH- Ilocos Regional Director Paula Paz M. Sydiongco said the fundamental role that a laboratory information system plays in a laboratory is to increase its operational efficiency by automating the workflows and eliminating the need for manually maintaining the patient’s information.
“We are hoping that JICA can help us develop and institutionalize a framework for an integrated performance system specifically for specimen referral, supply chain management, and performance management system to serve as the backbone for both public and private clinical laboratories in the region in order to achieve the objectives of Universal Health Care (UHC).”
The regional office and ITRMC also presented to JICA the laboratory network system, the manner of specimen transport, and the current situation of the laboratory network in the Ilocos region.
During the site visit to the clinical laboratory in ITRMC, they were presented with the different laboratory process flow including supply chain management of laboratory supplies and reagents, participation in the quality assurance programs including laboratory assessment of water testing and analytical toxicology sections. (ai/mtvn)