The WFH International External Quality Assessment Scheme (IEQAS) Program recently launched a new pilot project to further assist participating laboratories that continue to have outwith consensus results in their testing. Guidance is already provided to hemophilia treatment centre laboratories by the WFH, UK NEQAS (United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Service), as well as the IEQAS committee through emails. When a laboratory has already exhausted all options to try to resolve an issue through the usual channels, the WFH can now ask the members of the IEQAS and the Laboratory Sciences committees to provide assistance by conducting a site visit of the laboratory.
The WFH conducted its first IEQAS site visit at the end of 2015. Pierre Toulon, MD— the current Vice-chair of the Laboratory Sciences Committee—provided assistance to a hemostasis laboratory in Africa that was experiencing problems with their Factor VIII and Factor IX assays. After regular communications with the lab, Toulon realized that it was very challenging to pinpoint the cause of the laboratory’s outwith consensus results without a WFH-approved site visit. He travelled to Africa and spent two days in December 2015, and one day in February 2016, working with the laboratory staff, trying to find solutions for their FVIII and FIX issues. The UK NEQAS sent the African lab repeat samples to work with. After the visits, Toulon provided recommendations to the centre and wrote a report to the WFH detailing his findings. He also shared his experiences and findings with this new initiative at the WFH 2016 World Congress in Orlando in July 2016 during the IEQAS participants’ session. There are current plans to conduct a laboratory site visit in the Americas and in Europe. The WFH and the IEQAS committee will continue to identify participating centres that would be good candidates for this exciting new initiative. The WFH is always trying to collaborate with hemophilia treatment centres to help improve their laboratory testing and diagnosis practices through the IEQAS Program, as it continues to show great promise for treatment centres around the world.
The IEQAS Program is supported by funding from the Novo Nordisk Haemophilia Foundation.