The IFCC Working Group on laboratory errors and patient safety

Laura Sciacovelli, Mario Plebani
Clinica Chimica Acta; International Journal of Clinical Chemistry 2009, 404 (1): 79-85
The increasing attention paid to patient safety, and the awareness that the information provided by clinical laboratories impacts directly on the treatment received by patients, has made it a priority for clinical laboratories to reduce their error rates and promote an excellent level of quality. The capacity for reporting, analysing and learning from experience is still seriously hampered by a lack of methodological uniformity in identification and measurement, inadequate reporting schemes for error events, the fear of professional liability, and weak information systems. In previous years, the use of quality indicators to assess and monitor the quality systems of clinical laboratories considerably benefited quality management. Yet currently there are no guidelines available for identifying and correcting development of quality indicators in laboratory medicine, although the International Standard ISO 15189:2007 for Accreditation of Medical Laboratory requires them to be implemented. The aim of this work was therefore to report on the project, nominated "Model of Quality Indicator", undertaken by the Working Group, "Laboratory Errors and Patient Safety (WG-LEPS)" instituted by the division of Education and Management (EMD) of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC). The mission of the WG-LEPS is to promote and encourage investigations into errors in laboratory medicine, collect data available on this issue and recommend strategies and procedures for improving patient safety.

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