Lab Matters Spring 2022 | Page 14

types of tools included and assessed in maturity model

Building a Global Repository of Laboratory eTools

By Reshma Kakkar , manager , Global Health and Natalie Martinez , specialist , Global Health
In the last decade , technological advances in laboratory instrumentation and emerging pathogens of public health significance have placed a greater demand on laboratory data to support clinical and public health decision making . These factors , as well as the sheer quantity of data being processed , have required a hard look at the needs of laboratory systems .
There has been tremendous growth in the types of e-solutions available , varying in cost , functionality and scalability . But not all laboratories are created equal , especially in the realm of resources and financing available for new solutions . APHL is working on a collaborative project with The Global Fund to create a repository of laboratory eTools to assist laboratory leaders in selecting and implementing appropriate electronic tools for their laboratories .
Low-resourced countries seeking to strengthen their laboratory systems can be challenged in selecting appropriate solutions . They sometimes opt for wordof-mouth recommendations instead of a robust evaluation of information systems or tools . In other instances , in-country government partners introduce systems with no focus on coordination or standardization , leaving ministries to deal with issues of data quality , system maintenance , outdated technologies and platforms , and gaps in the ability to utilize laboratory data . Ministries of Health have

types of tools included and assessed in maturity model

1 . PT Testing / EQA 2 . Equipment Management 3 . Data Integration Engine 4 . Sample Referral 5 . Instrument Data Capture 6 . Data Centralization 7 . Data Analysis for Lab Data 8 . Freezer Management 9 . LIMS / LIS also come to rely on the availability of funding and the priorities set by donors , making it challenging for governments to identify implementers that will focus on the country ’ s overarching needs and not build disease-specific systems . Even opensource tools come with a cost and , in some cases , can be exorbitant and higher than commercially available solutions .
APHL ’ s goal as a part of this collaboration is to provide means for country governments to overcome knowledge gaps of laboratory tools , as well as build capability to confidently assess and select appropriate solutions for their laboratories . Overarching project objectives include :
• Developing a repository and knowledge hub for laboratory tools to provide easy access to information and for viewing , comparing and evaluating appropriate options .
• Identifying available laboratory eTools and scoring on a maturity model .
• Building a community of practice for laboratory eTools and to champion the laboratory tools repository .
APHL has created a maturity model based on 13 listed criteria ( Table 1 ) and a corresponding rating tool ( Table 2 ) that will be sent to vendors as a selfassessment . The maturity for each tool is rated on a five-point scale . While the laboratory tools maturity model is not limited to determining maturity of interoperability , the five levels have been applied across all domains except cost . APHL is in the process of establishing a community of practice to promote the laboratory eTools repository as a place for health leaders to engage , collaborate and exchange knowledge . •
Table 1 . Maturity Model Categories DOMAIN
CATEGORY 1 System infrastructure 2 Utilization 3 Country ehealth Strategy 4 Cost 5 Technical Support 6 Road map 7 User documentation 8 Multiple languages 9 Technical documentation 10 Implementation 11 Interoperability and Data Accessibility 12 Security 13 Scalability
Table 2 . Rating Scale in Maturity Model LEVEL MATURITY DESCRIPTION
Level 1
Does not follow systematic process , isolated ad hoc efforts
Level 2
Defined structures but not systematically documented . No formal performance monitoring
Level 3
Documented structures , structures are functional , metrics for performance monitoring used systematically
Level 4
Stakeholders use the
product and follow
standard practices
Level 5
Developers / system providers regularly review needs and modify functionality to adapt to changing conditions
12 LAB MATTERS Spring 2022
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