Every time you have a blood test, we’re right there with you.

September 22, 2020

You probably didn’t realise it, but the last time you or someone in your family had a blood test, IANZ was right there with you. You wouldn’t have seen us, but we were there, looking out for your wellbeing. How? Lisa Chan, IANZ Programme Specialist, has the answer.

It doesn’t matter where in the country you had your test or which of the 63 labs around the country analysed your sample, they are all accredited by IANZ which means we have checked that they are doing and what they should do to ensure your safety and an accurate test result.

During an assessment, IANZ Assessors, like Lisa Chan, Programme Specialist, are looking closely at the laboratory’s quality management system, staff training and technical competence. This involves checking that the laboratory is compliant with their own policies and procedures, as well as the recognised standards and other regulatory requirements

“One of my clients says he thinks of accreditation as ‘a three legged stool,” says Lisa. “You have internal quality compliance, policies and procedures compliance and then staff compliance. If one leg does not function, the whole system will all fall apart”. This is at the heart of what we do – we check every leg of the stool.

If you’ve wondered why the phlebotomist (the person taking your blood) asks several times who you are and asks you to check what is written on the labels on your blood sample, it’s because they are following good quality practice.

“Making sure that your blood samples are correctly identified is just one of many checks that will be performed in your sample’s testing journey”, says Lisa.

These checks and balances are applied across every aspect of the testing process, from receipt of your sample, through the analysing and testing process to the final report that goes to your GP or referring clinician. The assurance IANZ accreditation gives to each laboratory achieving an accurate final report is also critical in protecting your health, and the health of those around you.

Like the majority of IANZ Assessors, Lisa worked in the sector she assesses before joining IANZ. Qualified in medical laboratory science, she worked as a scientific officer in a number of medical testing laboratories before joining NATA, IANZ’s Australian equivalent. Lisa was at NATA for 10years before making the decision to cross the Tasman and join us four years ago.

“As a mum and an IANZ assessor, it’s reassuring to know that there are checks in place to ensure our blood tests will be accurate,” says Lisa. “I know that our GP will receive the information they need to make a diagnosis and suggest the right treatment”.

Of course, when Lisa goes for a blood test herself, she can’t help but mentally assess the phlebotomist and what they are doing!

To find out more about how IANZ partners with medical laboratories to protect your health, see our new case study

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