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Article
Error identification in a high-volume Clinical Chemistry laboratory: five-year experience
Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation
  • Jafri L, Aga Khan University
  • Aysha Habib Khan, Aga Khan University
  • Ghani F, Aga Khan University
  • Shakeel S, Aga Khan University
  • Raheem A, Aga Khan University
  • Siddiqui I, Aga Khan University
Publication Date
2-1-2015
Document Type
Article
Abstract
Introduction: Quality indicators for assessing the performance of a laboratory require a systematic and continuous approach in collecting and analyzing data. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of errors utilizing the quality indicators in a clinical chemistry laboratory and to convert errors to the Sigma scale. Materials and Methods: Five-year quality indicator data of a clinical chemistry laboratory was evaluated to describe the frequency of errors. An 'error' was defined as a defect during the entire testing process from the time requisition was raised and phlebotomy was done until the result dispatch. An indicator with a Sigma value of 4 was considered good but a process for which the Sigma value was 5 (i.e. 99.977% error-free) was considered well controlled. Results: In the five-year period, a total of 6,792,020 specimens were received in the laboratory. Among a total of 17,631,834 analyses, 15.5% were from within hospital. Total error rate was 0.45% and of all the quality indicators used in this study the average Sigma level was 5.2. Three indicators - visible hemolysis, failure of proficiency testing and delay in stat tests - were below 5 on the Sigma scale and highlight the need to rigorously monitor these processes. Conclusions: Using Six Sigma metrics quality in a clinical laboratory can be monitored more effectively and it can set benchmarks for improving efficiency.
Citation Information
Jafri L, Aysha Habib Khan, Ghani F, Shakeel S, et al.. "Error identification in a high-volume Clinical Chemistry laboratory: five-year experience" Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation Vol. 75 Iss. 4 (2015) p. 296 - 300
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/aysha_habib/20/