Tools, Technologies and Training for Healthcare Laboratories

Errors before the Laboratory

Several recent studies assert they have calculated the rate of error in laboratories, pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical. But what those numbers mean depends on what's being counted and who's doing the counting.

The Meaning and Application of Total Error

While the scientific community has grown comfortable with the once-revolutionary concept of "total error", novices and newcomers are often puzzled by the term. Dr. Westgard answers a few "back to basics" questions about total error and its role in laboratory testing.

$aving the Cost$ of Poor Quality

Contrary to popular business belief, there are ways to improve quality and save money at the same time. Six Sigma is founded on that core philosophy. But where are the savings in the laboratory? Here's a hard fact: poor QC practices are wasting money in your laboratory RIGHT NOW. Dr. Westgard shows how to identify, quantify, and eliminate the wasted time, effort, and resources spent on repeat runs, repeated controls, and poor patient care. (Preview)

Errors in Reasoning about Laboratory Errors

What's scarier? The fact that there are errors in laboratories, or the fact that we don't understand what those errors mean? A lot of logically dubious arguments have been put forward about reducing QC, ignoring QC, or eliminating the practice of QC altogether. Dr. Westgard examines and refutes the thinking behind these arguments.

An updated version of this essay appears on the Nothing but the Truth about Quality book.

From Rules and Tools to Technology and Training

At the Fourth European Conference Quality [r]evolution in Clinical Laboratories, in Antwerp, Belgium, Dr. Westgard charted the course of the recent developments in quality control. He covers the introduction of the original multirule ("Westgard Rules") to the introduction of the OPSpecs chart, to software-automated QC selection, to the future applications of embedded software in instrumentation and laboratory information systems.