August 23, 2013
India Pathology Research Centers Lacking Quality Control
The study and control of pathogens is absolutely integral to the prevention of the outbreak of deadly, contagious diseases. And a major part of this process is the regulatory oversight of those working with such dangerous pathogens.
In India, however, pathology research labs require absolutely no government oversight. In other words, rogue laboratories are springing up in one of the most densely populated areas of the planet—and they are experimenting with dangerous diseases, and medicine meant to be dispersed amongst the public.
And here is the frightening part: while this can, and probably does happen in many other countries, India is one of the world’s most densely populated areas, with just over 1.2 billion people.
Compounding the matter is the fact that is has also been reported that even laboratories attached to state hospitals do not require accreditation. According to Principal Advisor to the Quality Council of India Dr. Venkatesh Thuppil, as evidence based medicine grows into a more accepted method of treatment, the necessity for disease control research centers is increasing. However, accreditation is still a voluntary process and cannot be enforced easily by the National Accreditation Board for Testing.
"Unfortunately, though, even today in India quality is assumed and not assured as in most cases we have no idea what exactly to control. So, quality control is a rather arbitrary process," Venkatesh said.
Therefore, accreditation and quality control, according to experts, will only happen under the pressure of consumer demand. Just think of all of the ways that a lack of quality control when dealing directly with diseases in such a densely populated area of the world can go awry. From sanitation purposes to the accidental spread of disease, to basic employee and patient privacy concerns, the possibilities for serious problems to arise are many.
Statistical process control software can be an integral part of solving this problem. It is a cost efficient program with easy installation that can be monitored by executives of all levels—even from overseas, through a quality control hub. In this regard, every virus or bacteria that are studied, as well as every drop of blood in the facility could be monitored and regulated to assure that it does not leave the facility and infect citizens.