External Quality Assessment: an effective tool for Clinical Governance in Laboratory Medicine

External Quality Assessment: an effective tool for Clinical Governance in Laboratory Medicine,10.1515/CCLM.2006.133,Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory

External Quality Assessment: an effective tool for Clinical Governance in Laboratory Medicine   (Citations: 7)
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The implementation of Clinical Governance will require a redefinition of duties and accountability as a prerequisite to develop and achieve an overall improvement in clinical care through a culture of assessment and monitoring of quality. External Qual- ity Assessment Schemes (EQAS) are the main tool enabling laboratories to measure the quality of their results; they must carefully assess and monitor all elements contributing to the formulation of laboratory information (results, reference ranges/decisional levels, interpretative comments and diagnostic algo- rithms). There are different ways to design and man- age a Scheme and EQAS coordinators are mainly responsible for its effectiveness. The present paper reports, as an example, some experiences of the Cen- tre of Biomedical Research (CRB), which manages EQAS according to high quality specifications and laboratories' needs, that can reflect the Clinical Gov- ernance philosophy. Our findings show that EQAS are able to control all the above aspects and, if organisers are committed to fulfilling the responsibility and accountability principles, they will be of great value in quality assessment and in developing an External Quality Assurance Program (EQAP). This is an inter- laboratory comparison designed and conducted to assure the following: evaluation of participants' per- formance (by evaluating not only analytical perform- ance, but also test interpretation, and advice for clinicians on laboratory requests and diagnosis); eval- uation of method performance; and continuous edu- cation, training and help. The main aim of the activities of an EQAP in Laboratory Medicine is to sus- tain improvements in the quality of services provided by participating laboratories for the benefit of patients.
Journal: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine - CLIN CHEM LAB MED , vol. 44, no. 6, pp. 740-749, 2006
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    • ...This involves data collection and measuring the performance. The data should be precise and relevant, and collected over a specified time period. Patient registers may be used to identify patients, and clinical records are often used as data sources. Audit staff needs to be careful about the accuracy, timeliness and completeness of clinical records. The data collected must be adequate (sample size) and relevant to enable making valid conclusions....

    R T Erasmuset al. Clinical audit in the laboratory

    • ...Participation in an EQAS does not guarantee effective laboratory performance (9)...

    Laura Sciacovelliet al. Risk management in laboratory medicine: quality assurance programs and...

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