OJPHI: Vol. 5
Journal Information
Journal ID (publisher-id): OJPHI
ISSN: 1947-2579
Publisher: University of Illinois at Chicago Library
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©2013 the author(s)
open-access: This is an Open Access article. Authors own copyright of their articles appearing in the Online Journal of Public Health Informatics. Readers may copy articles without permission of the copyright owner(s), as long as the author and OJPHI are acknowledged in the copy and the copy is used for educational, not-for-profit purposes.
Electronic publication date: Day: 4 Month: 4 Year: 2013
collection publication date: Year: 2013
Volume: 5E-location ID: e165
Publisher Id: ojphi-05-165

New Strategy to Monitor and Assess Laboratory Biosafety Programs
Heather N. Meeks1
Betiel H. Haile2
Ngozi A. Erondu2
Lisa Ferland2
Meeyoung Park2
Scott J. McNabb*23
1Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Basic & Applied Sciences, Fort Belvoir, VA, USA;
2Public Health Practice, LLC, Atlanta, GA, USA;
3Hubert Department of Global Health, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA, USA
*Scott J. McNabb, E-mail: scottjnmcnabb@emory.edu


To develop a toolset to monitor and assess laboratory biosafety program performance and cost


Laboratory biosafety – a component of biosecurity – has specific elements that together, comprise a facility’s capability to both protect employees and the surrounding public and environment. Measuring these elements permits assessment and the costing of program-specific safety interventions. In the absence of a strategy and toolset, we developed a conceptual framework and toolset that monitors and assesses laboratory biosafety programs (LBPs) and provides useful information (e.g., return on investment [ROI]) for decision makers.


We conducted academic and open source literature reviews of LBPs and affiliated organizations laboratory manuals to identify objectives, goals, and indicators. These findings were aligned to laboratory biosafety-specific inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes to create a strategic, conceptual framework (logic models) used to assess performance and measure the cost and ROI. Indicators were identified in existing literature or developed and mapped to the logic model elements.


Six logic models were created: laboratory biosafety, biosurety, procedural, biocontainment, information security, and training. The laboratory biosafety logic model served as the overall framework for the remaining five sub-logic models. We also established a database containing 161 indicators mapped to each of the logic model elements.


We developed a strategic framework that monitors and evaluates LBPs. While evaluation of cost-impacts in LBPs provides business intelligence for resource planning, this integrated approach also provides information about gaps. We plan to pilot this toolset and refine indicators using principal component analysis.


Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Basic & Applied Sciences

1.. Bakanidze L, Imnadze P, Perkins D. Biosafety and biosecurity as essential pillars of international health security and cross-cutting elements of biological nonproliferationBMC Public Health 2010;10(Suppl 1):S12.
2.. Organization WHInternational Health Regulations (2005) IHR Monitoring Framework: Checklist and Indicators for Monitoring Progress in the Development of IHR Core Capacities in States Parties. Geneva: 2010
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4.. Garaigordobil M. Evaluation of a program to prevent political violence in the Basque conflict: effects on the capacity of empathy, anger management and the definition of peaceGac Sanit. 2012 Epub 2012/01/31
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6.. Le Duc JW, Anderson K, Bloom ME, Estep JE, Feldmann H, Geisbert JB, et al. Framework for leadership and training of Biosafety Level 4 laboratory workersEmerging Infectious Diseases 2008;14(11):1685.
7.. Lewis M. Development CfGGovernance and corruption in public health care systems: Center for Global Development. 2006
8.. Losinger WC, Bush EJ, Hill GW, Smith MA, Garber LP, Rodriguez JM, et al. Design and implementation of the United States National Animal Health Monitoring System 1995 National Swine StudyPreventive veterinary medicine 1998;34(2–3):147–59.
9.. Miller SR, Bergmann D. Biocontainment design considerations for biopharmaceutical facilitiesJournal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology 1993;11(4):223–34.
10.. Murray CJL, Evans DB. Health systems performance assessment. World Health Organization; 2003

Article Categories:
  • ISDS 2012 Conference Abstracts

Keywords: Laboratory biosafety, Evaluate Laboratory, program performance.

Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 * http://ojphi.org