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The Marvel of Newborn Screening Center Northern Luzon
The Marvel of Newborn Screening Center Northern Luzon
By: Maria Paz K. Otayza, MD, MPH, FPPS, FPSNbM
(Unit Head, NSCNL and Chairman, Pediatric Department)
The first time I had a gut feel about this journey was when I met the other unit heads at the first meeting; we were then barely starting newborn screening. The sheer magnitude of the program would faze the faint-hearted. My shield was a host institution that pledged support to it.
My next gut feel about where we were, fast forward to 2019: at an external audit visit, I was pulled aside by someone quite influential at NSRC, was told: You have a good unit. The most heart warming is when I was told by someone at the top: You make me proud. We had faced and aced! the challenges of initial and expanded NBS accreditation, by local and foreign auditors.
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NSC-NL IS RE-ACCREDITED: A CHANCE TO SAVE MORE BABIES
Based on published references, re-accreditation is defined as act of granting again a recognition, especially to an institution that maintains suitable standards. Thus, the Newborn Screening Center – Northern Luzon (NSC-NL) is blessed for successfully earning its reaccreditation status for three (3) years by the Department of Health through the International Newborn Screening Experts on July 27, 2019. This is in compliance to Section 26 of the Implementing Rules and Regulation of Republic Act 9288, which stipulates that all Newborn Screening Centers (NSCs) shall strictly follow the prescribed good laboratory practices.
The NSC-NL Accreditation happened on July 26 - 27, 2019 at the Strategic Room, 6F Laboratory Building, Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital, and Medical Center, Batac City, Ilocos Norte. The said activity was attended by Dr. Jose B. Orosa III, the Chief of Medical Professional Staff who represented Dr. Maria Lourdes K. Otayza, the Medical Center Chief of MMMH&MC who were on official travel; Mr. Cyrus Jed Ramos, NBS Program Manager of DOH CHD 1; Dr. Annabelle Paguirigan, NBS Medical Coordinator of DOH CHD 2, and the whole NSC-NL staff headed by Dr. Ma. Paz Virginia K. Otayza.
The NBS Panel of Experts was composed of the following: a) Dr. Bradford Therrell, Director of the National Newborn Screening and Global Resource Center in Texas, USA; b) Dr. Veronica Wiley, Director of the New South Wales Newborn Screening Program in Australia –; and c) Dr. Florencio Dizon, Quality Assurance Consultant from the Newborn Screening Reference Center (NSRC) in the Philippines. Ms. Ma. Elouisa Reyes, Ms. Margarita Aziza Canlas, and Ms. Ma. Truda Escoreal from NSRC were also in attendance to assist the Accrediting Team.
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MMMHMC holds Records Management and Records Disposition Administration Seminar-Workshop for Records Custodians
Recognizing the importance of records, a well-organized records management system and a timely records disposition contribute to an agency’s overall efficiency and productivity. With its continued effort to capacitate human resource, the MMMHMC initiated the conduct of Basic Records Management and Records Disposition Administration. The seminar-workshop is both knowledge and skills-oriented program that aims to increase office competence and workforce output in records management as well as enhance responsiveness of government personnel on the retention and disposal of enormous records.
The activity aimed to educate the participants on the salient provisions and requirements of the Republic Act No. 9470, otherwise known as the “National Archives of the Philippines Act of 2007” and facilitate compliance thereof. It also instilled the importance of well-organized record keeping as a way of ensuring the smooth operation of an organization. Basic principles and standards on records appraisal, records filing, records inventory, records retention and disposition were comprehensively discussed. Further, a workshop on the conduct records inventory and appraisal and the creation of records disposition schedule for the hospital aided the participants in applying the principles learned.
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MMMH&MC CONVERTS COVERED COURT FOR DENGUE PATIENTS
The state-run Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH&MC) will convert its covered court into a temporary ward to deal with the alarming rise in the number of dengue patients admitted to hospitals in Ilocos Norte.
Through its official Facebook page, the MMMH&MC informed the public on Friday of its plan to turn its covered court into a temporary dengue ward “because of the two-fold increase in the hospital’s dengue census.”
The hospital reported that from January 1 to June 15, it had admitted 144 dengue patients, 60.42 percent higher compared to the same period last year. The 10 years to 14 years old age bracket was most vulnerable to dengue.
Of the 144 patients, Batac City had the most number of cases with 20; followed by Laoag City with 15; Pagudpud town (12); Pasuquin town (10); and San Nicolas and Dingras towns (5 each). Two deaths had been reported.
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WELCOME TO HEAR: A NEWBORN SCREENING PROMOTION PROGRAM OF MMMHMC
Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMHMC) bagged the “Health Promotion Initiative of the Year” award with its Newborn Hearing Screening Promotion Program during the 2019 Healthcare Asia Award held at Singapore last May. This award aims to honor hospitals and clinics that rise above industry challenges and recognize initiatives that maximize the lucrative opportunities in the healthcare market. The award featured 50 awards and nominations hit nearly 200. This made MMMHMC the only retained DOH hospital to win this globally recognized award which means that the hospital is capable of improving even with market challenges while keeping patients satisfied and maintaining health revenues. The hospital outperformed other healthcare companies in Asia. Other participants from the Philippines were The Medical City, St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City and University of Sto.Tomas Hospital.
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DOH RECOGNIZES MMMH&MC FOR EFFORTS AGAINST ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE
The Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM) presented two awards to the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH&MC) for its successful performance in implementing a national surveillance program geared towards the global battle against antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
These awards include Most Outstanding Sentinel Site for MMMH&MC and Best Hospital Report for 2018 which were received by Dr. Uzziel Ginette Bascao, Chief Resident of the hospital’s department of Pathology and Laboratories, together with Ms. Donna Marie Calaoagan, medical technologist and the bacteriology section supervisor.
Dr. Modesty Leaño, head of the said department, highlighted that the awards conferred to MMMH&MC serves as a “recognition to the Hospital’s commitment with DOH’s mandate to fight AMR which is usually a concern that is ignored but is actually becoming a growing public concern and is putting all of us at risk.”
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MMMH&MC Holds Bomb Explosion DrilL
Aiming to boost awareness and preparedness in times of possible terror attacks, the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH&MC) conducted a bomb explosion simulation exercise last July 12, 2019.
Some of the government agencies that participated are the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), City of Batac Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC), the MMMH&MC Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (MMMH&MC TODA), and barangays San Julian, Nalupta, Caunayan, and Cal-laguip.
According to Dr. Romel Rasos, manager of MMMH&MC’s disaster risk reduction management unit (DRRMU), “the purpose of the drill is to test the efficiency of the disaster or emergency preparedness and response protocol as well as the effectiveness of the contingency plan of the hospital in times of adversities or any man-made catastrophe like bomb threat or explosion.”
Emphasizing the need for close coordination of the community and other government agencies, Dr. Rasos said that “MMMH&MC persistently evaluates its system, facilities, and infrastructure because the hospital is a primary subject or domain of man-made incidents.”