​​​​APHL's Laboratory System Improvement Program (L-SIP) Update provides information on improving the performance of public health laboratory systems. Please share this update with your system partners and send us information on new experiences, activities or resources related to system improvement.

Spring-Summer 2018, L-SIP Update

Congratulations to New L-SIP Participants

Congratulations to Virginia for convening an L-SIP assessment and the City of Milwaukee for convening an L-SIP reassessment in Spring 2018. Framed certificates of completion will be presented to them at the 2018 APHL Annual Meeting Awards ceremony, which can be displayed to document their participation and efforts. Look for future APHL publications and teleconferences showcasing their post-assessment activities and projects!

L-SIP at the 2018 APHL Annual Meeting

APHL Experience - Sunday, June 3 12:30-2:00 PM​
L-SIP will be showcased at the APHL Experience booth, where there will be an opportunity to chat with APHL staff and a representative from a state that has previously conducted an L-SIP assessment. Come to get your questions answered on how to prepare for an assessment, conduct the assessment and/or embark on post-assessment quality improvement activities.

L-SIP Roundtable - Monday, June 4 8:00–8:45 AM​​​
There will also be an L-SIP roundtable, where previous L-SIP participants will share their experiences maintaining post-L-SIP assessment quality improvement activities. The roundtable session will give attendees ideas for developing strategies to prioritize and implement L-SIP recommendations and facilitate a discussion maintaining stakeholder ownership and engagement for continual system improvement.

Post-L-SIP Assessment Quality Improvement Activity from Florida

Radley Remo
Quality Assurance Officer
Bureau of Public Health Laboratories (BPHL)
Florida Department of Health

The BPHL held its L-SIP Assessment on May 2, 2017 and developed an improvement plan with 19 objectives/tasks for the state. An L-SIP Coordinating Committee was formed to help implement the plan.

The committee members include representation from BPHL, Bureau of Radiation Control, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, a county health department (CHD) lab, CHD providers, and a laboratory consultant. This group has met twice and will meet on a quarterly basis. The committee is in the process of prioritizing the tasks and plan to address 3-5 of them by the end of the year (2018). 

One of the benefits of this diverse group is learning from each other. We all have similar issues (i.e. competent workforce, communication and quality improvement/assurance) and have a vested interest that the public health laboratory systems is working.

Although we have just started, we believe the L-SIP has a potential high return on investment and we look forward to seeing what the future brings with this multi-agency collaboration. For more information about these activities, contact Radley Remo at radley.remo@flhealth.gov.

Current L-SIP Map

The colored city and states on the map represent the 36 states, five local public health laboratory systems that have convened an L-SIP assessment, as well as the six public health laboratory systems which completed an L-SIP reassessment. For more information on L-SIP and the assessment planning process, please contact Tina Su at bertina.su@aphl.org.


L-SIP Recruitment

Laboratory staff are invited to attend an informational call about L-SIP to be held early Fall 2018. On this call, attendees will learn about the benefits of conducting an L-SIP assessment or reassessment, identifying stakeholders to invite to the assessment what to expect from the assessment day, and what support APHL can provide.

Once your state/local public health laboratory system has committed to conducting an assessment, APHL will provide a mentor, a representative from a state/local laboratory that has previously conducted an L-SIP assessment to offer guidance. The mentor will serve as a resource and can answer questions related to preparing for an assessment. To receive information about the process and technical assistance, please contact Tina Su at bertina.su@aphl.org.

Quality Improvement Forum Update

Recordings of the past QIF calls can be found in audio files that are available on the APHL Quality Improvement Forum website. Click on the title to expand your selection and display the links to the presentation and audio file.

In March 2018, Kathryn Wangsness from the Arizona Bureau of State Laboratory Services presented on a call titled "Knowledge Retention in Preparation for Staff Changes and Employee Retirements." Topics included the use of the Knowledge Retention toolkit as a starting point in capturing critical knowledge, getting staff onboard, use of Lean tools, and lessons learned.

In April 2018, Tracy Hoke, MT (ASCP) from the North Dakota Division of Laboratory Services presented on a call titled "Increasing Access to Laboratory Training and Education in a Rural State." Topics included accomplishments of this project, summarize the logistics of creating and implementing the workshop, and communicate lessons learned and plans for the future of online training courses at the North Dakota DoH, Laboratory Services.

If you would like to share with others a presentation on a quality improvement activity occurring in your laboratory or would like to join the group either as a participant on the calls, contact Tina Su at bertina.su@aphl.org to be added to the distribution list. Announcements are also listed in the APHL e-update.

Quality Assurance Listserv

APHL transitioned the listservs to an online community platform. The Quality Assurance listserv has made this move already and is now called the Quality Assurance Community. To join the Community and ask your peers quality-related questions and to view and/or respond to the queries, please contact Tina Su at bertina.su@aphl.org.