The Network - Issue 1, Spring 2011
Accreditation of Stem Cell Program Promotes High-Quality Patient Care
Canadian Blood Services' Ottawa-based stem cell program celebrates 10-year anniversary of FACT accreditation
By: Mike Halpenny, Charge Technologist, Stem Cell Processing Laboratory Canadian Blood Services (Ottawa)
Canadian Blood Services' Ottawa autologous stem cell program-consisting of the stem cell processing laboratory at Concourse Gate and the Apheresis Collection group at Carling-was recently honoured for reaching the milestone of 10 years of continuous FACT accreditation. In a letter to Dr. Graham Sher, CEO of Canadian Blood Services, The Foundation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) applauded the efforts of personnel at the site "for their dedication and commitment to stem cell transplantation and cellular therapy."
FACT is a non-profit corporation co-founded by the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) and the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT). The corporation's major objective is to promote high-quality patient care and laboratory performance.
In her letter to Dr. Sher, Dr. Jean Sanders, Chairman of FACT's Program Relations Committee, stated, "Accreditation is awarded after successful documentation of compliance with the current standards. A team of inspectors who are qualified by training and experience carry out on-site inspections. The inspection process is quality oriented and follows the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) rules for Good Tissue Practice (GTP)."
Benefits of accreditation for a stem cell program include:
- Transplant physicians and patients are more confident when stem cell products or cellular therapy units come from a FACT-accredited program;
- FACT Standards meet or exceed government regulations;
- FACT Standards are developed by panels of experts and are updated regularly.
- FACT is the only accrediting agency that addresses all quality aspects of stem cell collection, processing, testing, banking, selection, and release.
- International clients for cellular therapy products are requiring that minimum standards be met for the exchange or use of cellular products, and FACT-accredited programs meet or exceed all of these standards.
Canadian Blood Services' accreditation helps to "ensure that the collection and processing facilities at your institution are providing high-quality services to patients requiring stem cell transplantation," said Dr. Sanders.