As a DOH-designated National Reference Laboratory for infectious diseases (DO 2020-0820), RITM
is mandated to provide EQA to laboratories in the country for bacteriology (including mycobacteriology), parasitology, transfusion-transmissible infections, and SARS-CoV-2.
An External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) evaluates the performance of participating laboratories by assessing the integrity of the entire testing process from sample receipt to releasing of test results. This would allow comparison of the laboratory’s testing to the performance of a peer group and/or the national reference laboratory. EQAS is one of the components of a laboratory’s overall quality assurance program. Moreover, participation in EQAS as part of an overall laboratory quality assurance program is required under local regulatory policies for securing a license to operate.
These guidelines shall apply to all clinical laboratories participating in the EQA programs offered by
the Institute, and may serve as a reference for DOH regulatory/licensing officers and ISO15189
National Reference Laboratories prepare and ship challenge panels consisting of a combination of positive and negative samples that are designed to mimic patient samples. Results of completed tests
are then encoded online via One world Accuracy System (OASYS), a cloud-based application developed by 1WA, and the data are then analyzed under ISO 13528. Performance reports are provided to the participants to assess their results and–-where relevant—compare their performance against their