|James O. Westgard. Ph.D., FACB|
Profile for Dr. James O. Westgard
Dr. Westgard is co-founder and principal in Westgard QC, Inc., a small business providing tools, technology and training for laboratory quality management. He is also an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Wisconsin Medical School. He spent many years as Faculty Director of Quality Management Services for the Clinical Laboratories at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, still teaches in the Clinical Laboratory Science Program, and is co-director of a capstone program offering a Graduate Certificate in Laboratory Quality Management via the internet.
A native of North Dakota, Dr. Westgard obtained a BA degree in chemistry from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and Master's and Ph.D. degrees in analytical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He began his career at UW as a Clinical Chemist and served in the past as Director of Clinical Chemistry, Associate Director for Laboratory Administration, and Associate Director for Quality.
Dr. Westgard's early interest was in the development of method evaluation protocols and he served as the first chairman of the Evaluation Protocols Area Committee in CLSI (then known as NCCLS). He published extensively in this area during the 1970s and 1980s, including a monograph on Method Evaluation published by ASCLS. His interest in quality control began in 1976-77 when he was on sabbatical leave at Uppsala University in Sweden where he worked with Professor Carl Henric deVerdier and Drs Torgny Groth and Torsten Aronsson. This work led to the multi-rule control procedure, internationally known as “Westgard Rules.” His extensive work in quality management is documented by several books, including Cost-Effective Quality Control: Managing the quality and productivity of analytical processes, Basic QC Practices, Basic Method Validation, CLIA Final Rules for Quality Systems; Assuring the Right Quality Right: Good Laboratory Practices for verifying the attainment of the intended quality of test results; and Six Sigma Quality Design and Control: Desirable precision and requisite QC for laboratory measurement procedures.
The general area is quantitative techniques for analytical quality management and includes statistical quality control of laboratory testing processes, performance validation of measurement procedures, modeling and simulation for optimization of laboratory testing processes, and computer tools and technology for practical applications. Current work focuses on the development of a computerized process to automate the design of statistical QC procedures on the basis of the analytical, clinical, or biological quality requirements for a laboratory test, the imprecision and inaccuracy observed for a measurement procedure, and the rejection characteristics expected for different QC decision criteria and strategies. Applications of this process are also investigated to develop improved QC strategies for the more complicated quantitative analyses in clinical laboratories.
Dr. Westgard has received many awards from professional organizations involved with laboratory medicine and clinical laboratory science, including the following:
Dr. Westgard has published nearly 200 papers, chapters, monographs, books, reports, and articles. He has also published some 60 abstracts and made over 350 presentations at scientific meetings, conferences, workshops, and seminars. The Westgard Website (www.westgard.com) provides over 400 essays, articles, and lessons on laboratory quality management. Some recent publications include: