Tools, Technologies and Training for Healthcare Laboratories

Quality of Laboratory Testing

Part I: Myths and Metrics

September 2004

There are a lot of opinions about the state of quality of laboratory testing. FDA, CMS, CAP and many other organizations have put forward the myth that testing is great, with the rare "bad apple" that shows up in the headlines. It's time to see the truth, based on real data, about laboratory performance across the country...

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Part II: Touchstone Test Methodology

November 2004

There's a wealth of data out there on laboratory testing - particularly the data of proficiency testing programs. Dr. Westgard explains the methodology of turning PT results into laboratory performance metrics. The first analysis quickly debunks the notion that QC is no longer necessary for US laboratories.

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Part III: The Quality of Cholesterol Testing

December 2004

In the US, cholesterol testing has been discussed for decades. Specific quality requirements for precision and accuracy have existed on the books for years. But now we can determine if labs are meeting these goals. An analysis of over 9,500 laboratories in 5 different PT organizations reveals the difference between optimistic claims and actual achievements.

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Part V: The Quality of Calcium Testing

January 2005

A 2005 NIST/Mayo Clinic study found that even a small calibration error/bias of only 0.1 mg/dL could add up to $60 million in healthcare costs. So what is the quality of calcium testing in the US, and what does it cost?

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