Focus on the Maua Methodist Hospital Laboratory
“Maua Methodist Hospital Laboratory Services high quality, competitive, affordable, and timely results to its clients. The Hospital Laboratory offers all basic and special Laboratory investigations. It is manned by qualified personnel and is fully equipped with the state of art machines that are regularly serviced to ensure efficiency and accuracy of results. Maua Methodist Hospital laboratory acts as the reference laboratory in the region.” (https://www.mckmauahospital.org/index.php/medical/outpatient-clinics/laboratory).
The above information was taken from the hospital website. It is exciting to see how the laboratory has progressed over the years to become a highly regarded laboratory in the Maua area. As members of the healthcare team, laboratory personnel now participate in the morning report to determine where issues with laboratory testing have arisen and help to solve problems. They also give regular in-services to the clinical staff to provide updated information on laboratory services.
Mr. Peter Mwaniki, the Laboratorian-in-Charge, has been responsible for leading these changes in the laboratory. In conjunction with MMH CEO, he designed the new laboratory space. Additionally, Mr. Mwankik, along with his dedicated laboratory staff, have increased the number of laboratory tests available while also increasing the quality.
In 13 years that I have been visiting MMH, I have seen the laboratory move from a single, small room into a 3 room, remodeled modern laboratory. In addition to tests in chemistry, hematology and blood banking, the laboratory has added microbiology cultures and sensitivities to the test menu.
In addition, the laboratory equipment had been upgraded from antiquated, outdated instruments to modern instruments that provide timelier, accurate results. What this means to clinicians is that they can rely on the laboratory to produce results which will help them to diagnose and treat their patients.
Even more exciting is the improvement of the quality of the laboratory results. In the last 3 years, the quality of the reported results (assessed by outside reviews) has increased tremendously. In 2016, 2 in 3 laboratory tests were considered acceptable, but in 2019, 100% of laboratory tests were deemed as ACCEPTABLE.
Mission team members and UTMB DCLS students provide support to the laboratory in terms of introducing new techniques, training clinicians and laboratorians and new test development. In 2018, UTMB students Rajkumar Rajendran and Melissa Elwell helped to establish Diagnostic Management Teams which aid in communication between the clinical staff and lab. In 2019 Theresa Thompkins, Friendswood UMC member helped the lab set up the microbiology procedures to ensure quality cultures and sensitivity testing and Laurie Rollins worked with quality procedures.
What are the next steps for the laboratory? They are working to become an accredited laboratory. This will allow them for greater regional recognition, the ability to perform higher level testing and for greater reimbursement from the national insurance. For this to happen, MMH needs to be able to provide stable funding for laboratory supplies, quality control reagents, safety equipment, and personnel training.
What can team members do to help the laboratory? Continuing education is always needed – esp. quality control, troubleshooting and problem-solving techniques, and updates on new tests and procedures. The laboratory is always struggling to have enough funds for laboratory supplies and equipment maintenance. Quality control is an essential part of the laboratory testing, but the quality control materials have a short-term life and are expensive to purchase.
Recognition of the laboratory personnel is also important – they are the “behind the scenes detectives” of the hospital team and are not always recognized for their contribution.
This article was originally included in the Friends of Maua Hospital