Background: A quality medical laboratory service is an important part of the health care system. In developing countries like Ethiopia, the laboratory quality system remains weak due to several factors. Therefore, assessing the factors affecting quality of medical laboratory service is highly important in order to improve service quality. Objective: Assessment of factors affecting the quality of medical laboratory service in Gondar town public health facilities, Amhara regional state, Northwest Ethiopia, 2018.
Methods: An institution based cross-sectional study was conducted at Gondar town governmental health facilities from March to April 2018. A pretested, self-administered, semi-structured questionnaire and checklist was used to collect the socio-demographic information of the study participants and to assess factors affecting the provision of quality medical laboratory services. Data were checked for completeness, entered, and analyzed using SPSS version 20 (IBM Corporation, Armonk, NY, USA). Data were reported in tables and figures. The strength of association between the dependent and independent variables was assessed by the chi-square test. A p-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: A total of 103 medical laboratory professionals participated in the study. Of these, 62 (60.2%) were males. The majority of the study participants, 63 (61.2%), were laboratory technologists. Of these participants, 72 (69.9%) did not attend laboratory refresher training and 93 (90.3%) of participants were not satisfied with their salary. Sixty-three (61.2%) of the participants reported that their laboratory did not provide quality laboratory service. Lack of quality and adequate equipment, non-adherence to standard operating procedures, no continuing professional development, unavailability of adequate supplies and reagents, no customer service management, no regular internal and external quality assessment activity, no diagnostic service for all requested tests, no result verification, and laboratory safety were the major factors significantly associated with poor quality laboratory service (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: A high proportion of the study participants reported that their laboratory did not provide quality laboratory services. The shortage of adequate equipment, reagents, and lack of motivation and employees’ recognitions are the major factors that affect the quality of laboratory services.