EQA is a important part of a wider framework for quality assurance of diagnostic testing. In many countries it is now of interest to establish EQA as national schemes and in those countries with well established EQA, to maintain and promote good practise in EQA.
In order to assist in the establishment of national schemes and good practise policies for EQA the WHO is developing a technical manual to help member states establish, run and monitor sustainable national EQA schemes. IQN Path was invited to participate in the technical group meeting in and to contribute with a perspective on pathology tissue-based EQA.
During the meeting several discussions took place ranging from relevant ISO standards, guidance for labs on responding to EQA findings and perspectives from both countries with established EQA and rescue limited countries that may be affected by issues such as inconstant electricity supply, high temperature environments affecting sample stability, underdeveloped logistical networks and difficulty accessing some reagents and supplies.
The technical manual on national EQA schemes is now being prepared by the WHO, which we hope to see released in the next 3-4 months.
IQN Path hopes to work with the WHO again in future.