Vietnam's first public hospital meets Westgard Sigma testing standards

Monday, 2017-12-11 16:45:58
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The modern automated testing system installed at Cho Ray Hospital. (Credit:
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NDO – The Testing Unit of the Oncology Centre - Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City has been recognised with the award of Six Sigma certification under the US Westgard Sigma Verification of Performance (VP) Programme.

The Six Sigma test certificate is certified by the US Westgard QC in accordance with international standards. Nearly 50 laboratories around the world are awarded this certification, for which errors in test results must be minimal, with less than four errors in a million occurrences. The testing unit of Cho Ray Hospital is the first public hospital in Vietnam to achieve this certification, with 75% of the tests satisfying the criteria for Six Sigma.

Associate Professor, Dr. Nguyen Truong Son, Director of Cho Ray Hospital, said that the unit is always facing an increasing number of tests due to increasing patient numbers. The results of tests ensure 60-70% of clinical diagnosis by doctors, so assuring the quality of test results in the shortest period of time while maintaining quality standards and economic efficiency is a huge challenge.

The automated testing system operated at the centre since mid-2016 has helped shorten about 55% of workflow (reducing the test process from 33 to 15 steps), increasing productivity, reducing testing result return time (reducing wait time to 60 mins, 30 mins quicker than before), and sharing the burden with other departments. Son added that the system has the fastest conveyor at present, with a rate of 3,600 samples per hour.

The Six Sigma certificate granted to Cho Ray Hospital's automated testing system on December 11. (Credit:

Six Sigma is among the most important international quality management standards used by many enterprises in industries around the world to identify performance, reduce errors, and streamline processes, services, and products to the highest quality level. In the field of testing, the application of Six Sigma is a guarantee of accurate test results, thus ensuring correct diagnosis and treatment. The Westgard Sigma VP Programme validates this standard.

In addition, the programme also provides staff training, improving operation processes, and enhancing laboratory benchmarking to help reduce operational costs.

Based on this initial step, Cho Ray Hospital will replicate the Six Sigma application model in other testing units to synchronise the quality of testing at the facility, Dr. Son said.

Sten Westgard, Director of Client Services and Technology for Westgard QC, highly praised the quality of Cho Ray’s testing unit, saying that the laboratory’s quality is even higher than that of several labs with Six Sigma certification in the US.