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Laboratory System Improvement Program

Laboratory System Improvement Program (L-SIP) Logo
Promoting System Improvement

Connect to your system partners with a Laboratory System Improvement Program (L-SIP) assessment, now available to all state and local public health laboratory systems. Thirty-one states and two local municipalities have already completed an L-SIP assessment.


What is L-SIP?

APHL’s Laboratory System Improvement Program (L-SIP) advances the efficacy of state and local public health laboratory systems through a guided process of performance evaluation, system improvements, and periodic evaluation and reassessment. Participating member laboratories receive resources and technical assistance to guide them on their way to system excellence.

Why L-SIP?

Here are some of the benefits that L-SIP produces for state and local public health laboratory systems:

  • Provides a foundation for the accreditation of state and local public health departments by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB).
  • Provides a benchmark for public health laboratory system practice improvements, by setting a “gold standard” to which public health systems can aspire.
  • Improves communication and collaboration by bringing partners (e.g., ​first responders, key constituencies, public health and other laboratories, etc.) together.

L-SIP Marketing Materials 
For a program overview on L-SIP, refer to this L-SIP flyer.
For a list of program benefits and reasons why a system should conduct an L-SIP assessment, refer to this L-SIP marketing flyer.

Resources for L-SIP Participants 

System assessment reference documents:

Assessment reports from past L-SIP participants

Examples of L-SIP Websites from Previous Assessments:

Web Communicator: A template that can be used for developing a state or local-specific website to communicate with partners on the status of the L-SIP process and ongoing quality improvement activities.

Quality Improvement Forum calls: These bimonthly teleconferences are an opportunity for APHL members to share quality improvement activities and learn about quality improvement techniques. Contact Tina Su to add your email address to the distribution list and receive call information.

  • May 2013 Presentation Recording. PowerPoint Presentation File.
    Presentation description: John Shalkham, director of quality assurance at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, presented a basic overview of terminology associated with Quality Laboratory Service and reviewed the construction and/or update of a quality assurance plan.
  • July 2013 Presentation Audio Recording. PowerPoint Presentation File. 
    Presentation description: The speaker is Lorelei Kurimski and she directs and oversees multiple programs within the State Hygienic Laboratory including strategic planning/deployment and Lean/systems improvement. The presentation provided an overview of these topics as well as examples of the key activities needed to sustain and manage your plan. In addition the presentation covered how to maintain dynamic functionality, and how to incorporate Lean, Malcolm Baldrige, and L-SIP.
  • September 2013 Presentation Audio Recording. PowerPoint Presentation File. 
    Presentation description: Dr. Robert Rej, director of Clinical Chemistry and Hematology at the Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research of the New York State Department of Health, presented the major features of the third edition (15189:2012) and highlight areas where it differs substantially from earlier editions.
  • November 2013 Presentation Audio Recording. PowerPoint Presentation File. 
    Presentation description: Charlene Thomas, the laboratory manager in the Alabama public health laboratory’s Quality Management Division, discussed how to invoke change after a risk assessment and how to compile information, measure findings and communicate results/changes to staff with training and rewritten SOPs.
  • January 2014 Presentation Audio Recording. PowerPoint Presentation File.
    Presentation description: Steve Gradus and Sanjib Bhattacharyya, from the City of Milwaukee Laboratory, presented on new research, workforce committee activities and internal quality improvement initiatives resulting from their 2010 L-SIP assessment.
  • March 2014 Presentation Audio Recording. PowerPoint Presentation File. 
    Presentation description: Gary Oty, director of the Office of Quality, Safety, Security, and Emergency Preparedness, presented on how job-specific annual trainings are given to staff members as suggested by regulations, certifying/accrediting agencies or internal policies. He also touched upon how training needs are identified.
  • May 2014 Presentation Audio Recording. PowerPoint Presentation File. Presentation description: Lorelei Kurimski, director of the Office of Organizational Development, and Rachel Greenberg, a first-year public health program associate for CDC, presented on creating process improvement teams. During their presentation, they covered the steps taken to create process improvement teams, and share facilitation and organizational tools and lessons learned.
  • July 2014 Presentation Audio Recording. PowerPoint Presentation File. Presentation description: Jyl Madlem, the laboratory program advisor, and Shelley Matheson, the state training coordinator, presented "Building an Outreach and Training Program; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly." Their presentation covered how Indiana started their outreach and training program and improved upon it over the past six years. They also described what worked and what didn’t, how they adjusted when things went wrong and how they celebrated when things went right.
  • October 2014 Presentation Audio Recording. PowerPoint Presentation File. Presentation description: Denise Lopez, the public health laboratory manager and ELAP director at the Tulare County Public Health Laboratory, presented "Out of the Valley of Despair: The Tulare County Public Health Lab's Lean Journey." Her presentation covered challenges and successes laboratory staff have faced as they continue shifting towards a team-based culture as the vehicle for ongoing continuous quality and efficiency improvements using Lean. She also presented examples of how various Lean tools were used to choose and complete projects. Lopez is the first APHL member to be Lean certified through the APHL-sponsored Lean Certification pilot program.
  • December 2014 Presentation Audio Recording. PowerPoint Presentation File. Presentation description: Dr. Leslie Wolf, PhD, coordinator for the L-SIP assessment, presented "The NC L-SIP Experience," covering lessons learned from planning to post-assessment activities.   ​ 
  • February 2015 Presentation Audio Recording. PowerPoint Presentation File. Presentation description: In March 2014, Orange County was the second local member to complete a local Laboratory System Improvement Program (L-SIP) assessment.  Julia Wolfe, coordinator for Orange County’s post-L-SIP assessment activities, presented on the Orange County Health Care Agency L-SIP Strategic Plan for 2014-2016. Her presentation covered prioritized essential service outcomes, laboratory quality improvement committee-assigned projects, QI groups representing clinical, environmental and molecular epidemiology, and challenges with keeping staff and partners on track with project goals.