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Why accreditation?

Accreditation is the means by which a centre can demonstrate that it is performing a required level of practice in accordance with agreed standards of excellence. Essentially it allows a centre to certify that it operates an effective quality management system.

A quality management system is a mechanism to ensure that procedures are being carried out inline with agreed standards with full participation by all staff members. In a cell transplant programme, this ensures that the clinical, collection and laboratory units are all working together to archive excellent communication, effective communication, effective common work practices and increased guarantees for patients. It is a means of rapidly identifying errors or accidents and resolving them so that the possibility of repetition is minimized. It assists in training and clearly identified the roles and the responsibilities of all the staff.

Once the required level of quality has been achieved, the remaining challenge is to maintain this standard of practice. With a working quality management system in place and adequate resources, the fundamental elements necessary to sustain the programme are continued staff commitment and vigilance.

Will implementing quality management make a difference to transplant patients?

Evidence has emerged of a relationship between quality in transplantation and improved patient outcome. Findings were first published in 2011 in JCO and indicated that improvement of overall survival peaks at 14% for patients with chronic leukemias who received an allogenic HSCT. A follow-up study recently published (February 2014) in Haematologica has confirmed the quality effect on accelerating improvement over time.