Quality Assurance (QA) In The Medical Laboratory

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Quality assurance (QA) in the medical laboratory is the promise of quality and reproducibility of laboratory results. It is the summation of all the processes that guarantee that every aspect of the system is working correctly. It is the guarantee of accuracy and precision in the results produced. QA is fulfilled through the participation of every member of staff in internal quality control (IQC), as well as external quality assessment (EQA), audits, accreditation, and adherence to quality standards, particularly ISO 15189 which is specific to medical laboratories. QA is necessary for the safety of the patient, as an incorrect result could be detrimental.
Before starting my clinical placement, I was aware of the importance of accuracy and
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The main goal of IQC is checking that today’s results are the same as the day before. Samples with known results are tested and there are acceptance criteria for each result, for example, control results with a numerical value must be within two standard deviations of the correct value. IQC is performed on every analyser multiple times a day. EQA is retrospective and uses samples with unknown values supplied by a third party. It compares the results of different laboratories. I have been very aware of both IQC and EQA in all the laboratories I have been in so far. There is a lot of focus on QC and my trainers have made sure to demonstrate its importance to the…show more content…
Every test result is important and has an impact on the patient. I felt that doing all the quality checks was not the job I was training to do, but eventually I realised that the backbone of science is all the QA aspects that are performed throughout the day which give meaning to the results produced, as they guarantee reliability. During the workshops I was glad to find that my lack of enthusiasm was shared by the other students. The workshop discussions also demonstrated the differences in QA within the different hospitals, for example the different EQA schemes.
I believe that QA is necessary for the patient to have confidence in the results, but also so we can have confidence in the work we do in the laboratory. I think that it is a reminder that the work we do is important. I think that QA encourages continual improvement and I look forward to being able to improve my skills with the help of QA when I am qualified. EQA is especially good as it compares your results with the results of others and this instigates changes to be made if a particular aspect is performing poorer than somewhere

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