The Unit is setting up a Health Service Laboratory (HSL), a modelled pioneered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’ Global Health Service Laboratory. This will give an opportunity to test different policies in a controlled environment.
The Health Services Laboratory (HSL) concept, developed by WITS in collaboration with the Johannesburg Health District, aims in an experimental way to support the research, policy and practice link, by providing a platform that supports evidence-based decision-making. HSL allows the implementation and impact of health policies, such as public health campaigns and the use of a drug or a medical device, to be tested in different settings. Testing the implementation of policies in a pragmatic controlled setting allows latent (clinical, social and health system related) issues that have an impact (both positive and negative) on policy implementation to be highlighted. The concept stems from the idea that pilot studies and trials of new interventions in a “controlled” setting will provide better information on what works and what does not. Better evidence on effectiveness and Efficacy of specific interventions will inform decisions on future use and applicability.
In this setting the concept of Health Service Laboratory will be used as a simulation lab for implementation of new medical equipment and its interphase with health care workers and maintenance personnel to provide a practical setting before large scale rollout.
Reference: Basu D et al. on behalf of SDH-Net. SDH.net Concept for health service laboratories.
http://tie.inspvirtual.mx/portales/sdhnet/HealthServicesLaboratory.pdf [accessed 20/03/2015]