Laboratory System Improvement Program (L-SIP)

Improving Our System

The reason for conducting an assessment of laboratory system performance is to provide the basis for collaborative efforts at improvement.  It is our hope that by working collaboratively we can significantly improve the overall performance of our system in Arizona.

Success with the L-SIP necessitates an external focus, involving all system partners to address quality improvement centered on the State Public Health Laboratory System (SPHLS) itself.  The improvement process begins with the assessment. The dialogue and discussions that occur during the assessment begins the development of ideas and interest in improving collaboration.  At the conclusion of each section of the assessment (i.e. at the conclusion of each essential service section), participants have an opportunity to identify one to three actions that could be taken to begin system improvement.

It is recommended by APHL that the state laboratory convene a follow-up meeting to share the results of the assessment and to begin prioritizing areas for improvement based on results of the assessment. Some states have formed high level advisory groups to lead in the planning and development of improvement strategies.  Arizona will evaluate the results of the assessment and determine the best way to move forward to improving the laboratory system.

As improvement proceeds after the initial assessment, it is recommended that a reassessment of the system occur at least every 5 years. At that time, progress in improvement can be measured, and new improvement activities can be identified. A logic model representing this process is represented by the following diagram:

State Public Health Laboratory System Improvement Cycle
Lab Improvement Cycle

A number of resources exist to support improvement. APHL created an On-Line Resource Center, a resource that provides improvement tools and examples of lessons learned by states involved in system improvement work. A number of other tools to aid organizations in quality improvement work also exist. The Turning Point Program developed the concept of Performance Management, and the Public Health Foundation website includes a number of tools. The CDC National Public Health Performance website also includes several improvement strategies and tools. Check the Related Links page to access these resources.