oa African Journal of Laboratory Medicine - A comprehensive review of the SLMTA literature part 1 : content analysis and future priorities : review article

Volume 5 Number 2
  • ISSN : 2225-2002
  • E-ISSN: 2225-2010



Since its introduction in 2009, the Strengthening Laboratory Management Toward Accreditation (SLMTA) programme has been implemented widely throughout Africa, as well as in the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Southeast Asia.

We compiled results from local, national and global studies to provide a broad view of the programme and identify directions for the future. The review consists of two companion papers; this paper focuses on content analysis, examining various thematic components of the SLMTA programme and future priorities.
A systematic literature search identified 28 published articles about implementing the SLMTA programme. Results for various components of the SLMTA programme were reviewed and summarised.
Local and national studies provide substantial information on previous experiences with quality management systems; variations on SLMTA implementation; building human resource capacity for trainers, mentors and auditors; the benefits and effectiveness of various types of mentorship; the importance of management buy-in to ensure country ownership; the need to instill a culture of quality in the laboratory; success factors and challenges; and future directions for the programme.
Local, national and global results suggest that the SLMTA programme has been overwhelmingly successful in transforming laboratory quality management. There is an urgent need to move forward in four strategic directions: progression (continued improvement in SLMTA laboratories), saturation (additional laboratories within countries that have implemented SLMTA), expansion (implementation in additional countries), and extension (adapting SLMTA for implementation beyond the laboratory), to lead to transformation of overall health systems and patient care.

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