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Cornes M.P.,Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust | Cornes M.P.,Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine Preanalytical Working Group | Atherton J.,Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine Preanalytical Working Group | Atherton J.,University of Liverpool | And 6 more authors.
Annals of Clinical Biochemistry | Year: 2016

Background: Most errors in the clinical laboratory occur in the preanalytical phase. This study aimed to comprehensively describe the prevalence and nature of preanalytical quality monitoring practices in UK clinical laboratories. Methods: A survey was sent on behalf of the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine Preanalytical Working Group (ACB-WG-PA) to all heads of department of clinical laboratories in the UK. The survey captured data on the analytical platform and Laboratory Information Management System in use; which preanalytical errors were recorded and how they were classified and gauged interest in an external quality assurance scheme for preanalytical errors. Results: Of the 157 laboratories asked to participate, responses were received from 104 (66.2%). Laboratory error rates were recorded per number of specimens, rather than per number of requests in 51% of respondents. Aside from serum indices for haemolysis, icterus and lipaemia, which were measured in 80% of laboratories, the most common errors recorded were booking-in errors (70.1%) and sample mislabelling (56.9%) in laboratories who record preanalytical errors. Of the laboratories surveyed, 95.9% expressed an interest in guidance on recording preanalytical error and 91.8% expressed interest in an external quality assurance scheme. Conclusions: This survey observes a wide variation in the definition, repertoire and collection methods for preanalytical errors in the UK. Data indicate there is a lot of interest in improving preanalytical data collection. The ACB-WG-PA aims to produce guidance and support for laboratories to standardize preanalytical data collection and to help establish and validate an external quality assurance scheme for interlaboratory comparison. © 2015, The Author(s) 2015. Source

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