TMC receives first Westgard Sigma Verification in the Philippines

Present during the awarding were (from left) Dr. German Castillo Sr., Chairman of the Department of Laboratories; Chairman of the Board Dr. Augusto P. Sarmiento; President and CEO Dr. Alfredo R.A. Bengzon; Sten Westgard, Director of Client Services, Westgard QC; Rex Andrew U. Laroza, General Manager, Abbott Diagnostics Division; and Roger Low, Area Product Manager, Core Laboratory, Abbott Diagnostics Asia Pacific.

via The Medical City |  Premier Philippine hospital The Medical City (TMC) earns the distinction of being the first medical institution in the Philippines to receive the Westgard Sigma Verification.

“This verification will push The Medical City further to pursue and ensure quality and excellence in every aspect of medical services that we offer to various stakeholders,” The Medical City president and CEO Alfredo RA Bengzon said.

TMC aims to ensure precision and excellence in the quality of healthcare it provides notably in laboratory medicine. One of the steps that the institution took is by participating in the Westgard Sigma Verification Program.

The Westgard Sigma Verification Program encourages laboratories to define their own quality requirements for intended use and to evaluate their own performance relative to their goals for quality. It provides an evidence-based, data-driven approach to quantify the quality being achieved by a laboratory method as well as confirmation that the laboratory can routinely and consistently deliver that quality.

“The Westgard Sigma Verification Program standardizes quality in the medical laboratory. It heightens quality management, inspires and ingrains the correct practices into the entire staff. Laboratory medicine plays a vital role in the decision-making of physicians as well as the kind of treatment to be administered so precision and quality of work are non-negotiables,” said Sten Westgard, director of client services of Westgard QC.

The program employs a Six Sigma Quality Management System in the laboratory that provides an objective and quantitative approach to guarantee that the analytical quality of test results is acceptable for their intended clinical use. This verification provides an assurance for the analytical quality of testing processes; the selection and validation of instrument systems; design of quality control procedures; standardization of quality control practices and proper monitoring and assessment of quality on the sigma scale. “It has always been a point of contention when there is a need to validate our services, especially laboratory medicine, and claim ours as an excellent and trustworthy one. Not because there is a cloud of doubt on our expertise but only because there is a shortage of platform to claim quality for what we do,” Bengzon stated.

“The entry of Westgard QC and its Westgard Sigma Verification Program provided a vital platform that would fill the gap between regulatory approval and laboratory accreditation,” Bengzon continued.

TMC’s road to earning the Westgard Sigma Verification began in 2013. During that time, various programs were implemented at the medical institution and its laboratory department, among them implementation of a Six Sigma Quality Management System to ensure analytical quality of test results is appropriate for their intended clinical use. The efforts successfully helped propel TMC to receive the distinctive Westgard Sigma Verification.