NATIONAL EXTERNAL QUALITY ASSESSMENT SCHEME [NEQAS]-Bacteriology
Quality assurance (QA) is an essential component of a clinical bacteriology laboratory. Laboratories practicing the principles of quality assurance generate reliable, relevant and cost-effective results, delivered timely and in the best interest of the patient.
NEQAS in clinical microbiology was commenced in 1997 by Dr. R.S.B. Wickramasinghe and Dr. M. Atapattu, Consultant Bacteriologists. It is the sole program that is conducted uninterrupted for 22 years.
The main objective of external quality assessment (EQA) is to establish inter-laboratory comparability of results and thereby to improve performance. The specific objectives of our program are to,
- improve laboratory performance of clinical diagnostic microbiology
- evaluate internal quality control measures
- encourage use of standard reagents / methodology in identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing in microbiology
- facilitate information exchange among participant laboratories and the EQA scheme
- stimulate performance improvement and to ensure credibility of the laboratory
- support accreditation of microbiology laboratories
The Quality Control laboratory of the Department of Bacteriology, Medical Research Institute is the sole Proficiency Test Provider in the National External Quality Assessment Scheme (NEQAS) in Clinical Microbiology for the last 22 years in Sri Lanka.
Postal Address: Quality Control Laboratory
Department of Bacteriology
Medical Research Institute
Dr. Danister de Silva Mawatha
Colombo 08, Sri Lanka
Telephone: 0094112693532-35 EXT: laboratory-353, consultant – 332
Fax: 0094112691495 (Director office)
- Dr. Lilani Karunanayake, M.B.,B.S., PG Dip (Medical Microbiology), MD Consultant Clinical Microbiologist, Head Department of Bacteriology, Lead and Technical advisor of the NEQAS program
- Mrs. K.A.K.C. Kulatunga, B.Sc. (Special), MSc. (General Microbiology) Senior Research Officer, Coordinator of NEQAS program
- Mrs. A. Vayishnavi, BSc. in Medical Laboratory Sciences (Special)
Senior Medical Laboratory Technologist, Coordinator (Technical) NEQAS program
- Miss. K.D.D. Karavita, BSc in Medical Laboratory Sciences (Special)
Medical Laboratory Technologist
- Type of Proficiency Test program
PT program uses the qualitative scheme and expect participant laboratories to identify specific organisms and their susceptibilities. We evaluate the laboratories capability to characterize specific entities including direct smears for gram staining.
- Scope of tests
Antibiotic Susceptibility Test (AST) result
- Participation in the scheme
The participation is voluntary. Those who intend to enroll in the NEQAS should make a request through the relevant officials to the above address. Samples are issued free of charge to government hospitals and institutions whereas Universities and private laboratories are charged an annual fee of Rs.3000/=.
- Distribution cycle
Surveys are conducted quarterly in February, May, August and November. Each participating laboratory is identified by a confidential code name. The packages containing the samples and reporting sheets are sent to all the participants. With prior notice participating laboratories can pick up the package from the Quality Control Laboratory.
Each participant receives a confidential individual hard copy on their performance throughout the year. It includes, individual ranks in each survey and the end of year rank (rank of all four surveys), the average score of participants, total points scored and maximum achievable score in the EQA scheme is provided for the laboratory to compare their performance.
The participants who have been assessed by three successive surveys, a certificate is issued for participation.
Confidentiality and ethical responsibility
The reports, scores and comments sent to individual participants are maintained with strict confidentiality.
Written by Dr. Lilani Karunanayake, Head/Quality Control Laboratory