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Teamwork and engagement drive success at the Public Health Ontario Laboratory in Thunder Bay

By Editor on 3/25/2019

Teamwork and engagement drive success at the Public Health Ontario Laboratory in Thunder Bay

By Georgina Ralevski, Allison Langille and Lorraine Melanson


Our Thunder Bay Public Health Laboratory team experienced their first enhanced Institute for Quality Management in Health Care (IQMH) ISO audit on September 11, 2018 and nailed it, complying with all 375 requirements assessed.

Getting to this great outcome was a team effort. Allison Langille, Lorraine Melanson, and the entire laboratory staff team prepared in advance by using the actual IQMH checklist and gathered evidence in advance for each requirement to show the auditors.

Together with the checklist and a full understanding of their laboratory processes and quality management system, the staff was eager to approach the auditors and showcase the diagnostic laboratory services they provide.

The IQMH audit team recognized this and complimented Allison and her team on the unusually high level of staff engagement during the audit. The auditors were not used to having staff approach them; it is usually the other way around.

The IQMH Centre for Accreditation evaluates laboratory processes to ensure quality and competence, through conformance to an acknowledged standard. IQMH also offers an enhanced audit based on ISO 15189:2012, called ISO 15189 Plus.

In April 2018, PHOL set out to elevate their IQMH accreditation assessments to ISO 15189 Plus.™ The benefits of the ISO system are enhanced assurance of technical competence, risk reduction, staff confidence, and international recognition, to name a few. For a full list of benefits, please visit IQMH here.

‘All in all, we came together as a team to showcase all of the great work that we do, and our teamwork and pride shone through.’ Allison Langille

Staff had many nice things to say about the IQMH team and about the ISO process itself. Here are a few quotes from the staff.

‘For me, having such a relaxed and knowledgeable auditor team, set the tone from the very beginning during the opening meeting, which made us all feel relaxed and at ease.’

‘The auditors took the time during the closing meeting to acknowledge our efforts and teamwork.’

‘It makes the efforts we put in every single day – giving 100% and sometimes more – worth it because at the end of the day it’s all about making sure that patient care is our number one priority.’

When all was done, the team in Thunder Bay celebrated with a well-deserved pizza party. Congratulations Thunder Bay on a job well done!

Thunder Bay Public Health Laboratory team 

accredited facilities
Centre for Accreditation
ISO 15189 Plus
Public Health Laboratory Ontario


Institute for Quality
Management in Healthcare

1500-393 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 1E6





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