Quality Management of Mycobacteriology Laboratory in Taiwan:Current Status and Future Perspectives

Ting-Fang Wang, Ruwen Jou

2012 Vol.28 NO.18

Correspondence Author: Ruwen Jou


Among the National Notifiable Communicable Diseases in Taiwan, tuberculosis has the highest annual mortality and incidence. It is always a big challenge for public health authorities to control the epidemic and to integrate laboratory examination, clinical management, and public health resources. Taiwan Centers for Diseases Control (Taiwan CDC) has launched a campaign - Mobilization Plan to Halve Tuberculosis Incidence in Ten Years. Since bacteriological examinations are associated with finding of case, evaluating the treatment response, and investigating the transmission, it is important to improve the quality management system of a laboratory. Accordingly, an external quality assessment program has been established for acid-fast bacilli smear microscopy, culture, identification and drug susceptibility testing. Clinical laboratories are also encouraged to set up an internal quality control system. Currently, Taiwan CDC is developing a web-based laboratory management system, standardizing a training program, and implementing a certification mechanism for laboratories and medical technologists. To achieve a better tuberculosis control, we should be able to offer an accessible and professional service based on a well-established mycobacterial laboratory examination network.