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Miller W.G.,Virginia Commonwealth University | Tate J.R.,Pathology Queensland | Barth J.H.,Blood science | Jones G.R.D.,SydPath | Jones G.R.D.,University of New South Wales
Annals of Laboratory Medicine | Year: 2014

Harmonization of clinical laboratory results means that results are comparable irrespective of the measurement procedure used and where or when a measurement was made. Harmonization of test results includes consideration of pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical aspects. Progress has been made in each of these aspects, but there is currently poor coordination of the effort among different professional organizations in different countries. Pre-analytical considerations include terminology for the order, instructions for preparation of the patient, collection of the samples, and handling and transportation of the samples to the laboratory. Key analytical considerations include calibration traceability to a reference system, commutability of reference materials used in a traceability scheme, and specificity of the measurement of the biomolecule of interest. International organizations addressing harmonization include the International Federation for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, the World Health Organization, and the recently formed International Consortium for Harmonization of Clinical Laboratory Results (ICHCLR). The ICHCLR will provide a prioritization process for measurands and a service to coordinate global harmonization activities to avoid duplication of effort. Post-analytical considerations include nomenclature, units, significant figures, and reference intervals or decision values for results. Harmonization in all of these areas is necessary for optimal laboratory service. This review summarizes the status of harmonization in each of these areas and describes activities underway to achieve the goal of fully harmonized clinical laboratory testing. © The Korean Society for Laboratory Medicine. Source


Ozarda Y.,Uludag University | Ichihara K.,Yamaguchi University | Barth J.H.,Blood science | Klee G.,Rochester College
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine | Year: 2013

The reference intervals (RIs) given in laboratory reports have an important role in aiding clinicians in interpreting test results in reference to values of healthy populations. In this report, we present a proposed protocol and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for common use in conducting multicenter RI studies on a national or international scale. The protocols and consensus on their contents were refined through discussions in recent C-RIDL meetings. The protocol describes in detail (1) the scheme and organization of the study, (2) the target population, inclusion/ exclusion criteria, ethnicity, and sample size, (3) health status questionnaire, (4) target analytes, (5) blood collection, (6) sample processing and storage, (7) assays, (8) cross-check testing, (9) ethics, (10) data analyses, and (11) reporting of results. In addition, the protocol proposes the common measurement of a panel of sera when no standard materials exist for harmonization of test results. It also describes the requirements of the central laboratory, including the method of cross-check testing between the central laboratory of each country and local laboratories. This protocol and the SOPs remain largely exploratory and may require a reevaluation from the practical point of view after their implementation in the ongoing worldwide study. The paper is mainly intended to be a basis for discussion in the scientific community. Source


Jassam N.,Harrogate District Foundation Trust | Yundt-Pacheco J.,Bio Rad Laboratories Inc. | Jansen R.,Dutch Foundations for Quality Assessment in Clinical Laboratories SKML | Thomas A.,University of Cardiff | Barth J.H.,Blood science
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine | Year: 2013

Background: The implementation of national and international guidelines is beginning to standardise clinical practice. However, since many guidelines have decision limits based on laboratory tests, there is an urgent need to ensure that different laboratories obtain the same analytical result on any sample. A scientifically-based quality control process will be a pre-requisite to provide this level of analytical performance which will support evidence-based guidelines and movement of patients across boundaries while maintaining standardised outcomes. We discuss the finding of a pilot study performed to assess UK clinical laboratories readiness to work to a higher grade quality specifications such as biological variation-based quality specifications. Methods: Internal quality control (IQC) data for HbA1c, glucose, creatinine, cholesterol and high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol were collected from UK laboratories participating in the Bio-Rad Unity QC programme. The median of the coefficient of variation (CV%) of the participating laboratories was evaluated against the CV% based on biological variation. Results: Except creatinine, the other four analytes had a variable degree of compliance with the biological variation-based quality specifications. More than 75% of the laboratories met the biological variation-based quality specifications for glucose, cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol. Slightly over 50% of the laboratories met the analytical goal for HBA1c. Only one analyte (cholesterol) had a performance achieving the higher quality specifications consistent with 5σ. Conclusions: Our data from IQC do not consistently demonstrate that the results from clinical laboratories meet evidence-based quality specifications. Therefore, we propose that a graded scale of quality specifications may be needed at this stage. © 2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston 2013. Source


Jansen R.,Dutch Foundation for Quality Assessment in Medical Laboratories SKML | Jassam N.,Harrogate District Foundation Trust | Thomas A.,University of Cardiff | Perich C.,Spanish Society of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Pathology SEQC | And 6 more authors.
Clinica Chimica Acta | Year: 2014

Introduction: In the modern healthcare service, patients receive care in multiple hospitals and healthcare settings. Therefore, harmonization of results from different methods and instruments, both between and within laboratories, is of the utmost importance. The present pilot study aims to test the use of a Category 1 EQA scheme across four European countries by assessing the current level of equivalence of test results. Method: This work was led by the Dutch External Quality Assurance Scheme SKML and involved 28 laboratories from three regions in the UK, Spain and Portugal, and 120 laboratories from The Netherlands. A set of six commutable samples, targeted with reference methods, were circulated and 18 biochemistry analytes were tested. Results and conclusions: The Total Error (TE) score, defined as the probability (%) that results are within the Total Error Acceptable (TEA) limits, for the eighteen analytes was calculated. Our data show that there is a need for further harmonization of laboratory data, in particular for electrolytes (calcium, chloride, magnesium, sodium), enzymes (ALT, amylase, AST, LDH), lipids (HDL-cholesterol), and for substrates (creatinine, total protein). Lack of performance consistency between instruments was seen for most analytes. The lack of harmonization is still present despite manufacturer claims of established traceability. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source


Davies J.,Blood science
Journal of Clinical Pathology | Year: 2015

Procalcitonin (PCT) is the 116 amino acid precursor of the hormone calcitonin, produced by the C cells of the thyroid. Its synthesis is upregulated in bacterial infection and downregulated by viral infection. Consequently, with the increasing development of antibiotic resistance, interest has focused on the ability of this marker to not only diagnose infection but to tailor antibiotic treatment and help reduce the development of antibiotic resistance. The value of PCT depends on the specific clinical situation and pretest probability of disease. This article discusses the role of PCT in these different situations, namely primary care, the emergency department and the intensive care unit. The true cost effectiveness of this test remains difficult to prove as evidence for the potential impact of using PCT on slowing the development of bacterial resistance remains largely circumstantial. Source

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