In 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to cause global, social, and economic disruption, reaching unprecedented peaks in daily case numbers, hospital admissions, and ICU bed occupancy by the end of the summer. This was due not only to COVID-19 wild-type, but also new variants of concern. These peaks were followed by a sharp decline after vulnerable populations, healthcare workers, and the general public began receiving much-anticipated vaccines.
Medical laboratories mastered increased testing capacity for COVID-19 with exceptional efficiency and accuracy. However, they also faced increased testing in other disciplines as we emerged from the fourth wave. IQMH staff wish to acknowledge and thank our laboratory colleagues for adapting to new testing demands under very difficult and dynamic circumstances!
Here at IQMH, we continued to deliver all our Proficiency Testing programs on schedule, thanks to our dedicated team of Consultant Technologists. This year, we offered new survey material to assess the competency of laboratories who added variants of concern testing to their scope and provided critical information to public health units to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, we celebrated another successful year with our three remote pathology slide assessments and welcomed four assessors back to our IQMH office for the final slide assessment of 2021. Another year cannot go by without acknowledging and thanking all our Scientific Committee members for their incredible contributions to our Proficiency Testing programs.
On behalf of IQMH, I would like to express appreciation and thanks for the incredible support we have received from you and wish you and your families a joyous holiday season and a happy new year.
Director, Proficiency Testing