Tools, Technologies and Training for Healthcare Laboratories

Basic QC Practices

Sigma-metrics of Lab Processes, 2012

A new study looks at the frequency of errors in laboratory processes across the Total Testing Process. The study covers error rates from 2009-2011 in the University Hospital of Padua, Italy. More than a decade ago, a study in an Italian laboratory declared the primacy of pre-analytical errors. Have labs improved significantly since then?

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Error Rates in the Total Testing Process

For over a decade, the prevailing wisdom has been that analytical errors rarely happen and that pre-analytical and post-analytical errors are more important. A 2011 study of 5 years of laboratory data calls this emphasis into question. Perhaps some errors are not more equal than others.

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Pre-Analytical and Post-Analytical QC

For more than a decade, the scientific literature has stressed the preeminence of pre-analytical error. Often these papers play a zero-sum game, emphasizing pre- and post-analytical quality while diminishing the importance of analytical quality. In this lesson, sources of errors for the pre-analytic and post-analytic phases of the Total Testing Process are discussed, along with possible solutions. Finally, the occurrence of these errors are rated on a Sigma-scale, to put pre-analytical problems into context with analytical performance. (Preview)

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QC Practices for Molecular Testing

Historically, the first publication of the “Westgard Rules” was shown with an example from
clinical chemistry. As a result, some people believe that QC does not apply to other areas of testing, like hematology, immunology, etc. nor to the new technologies and devices that have been introduced to the laboratory in recent years. This lesson explains how QC techniques apply and can be implemented in "other" areas of testing. (Preview)

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