Effective management of clinical laboratories participating in external quality assessment schemes (EQAS) is of fundamental importance in ensuring reliable analytical results. The International Standard ISO 15189:2012 requires participation in interlaboratory comparison [e.g. external quality assessment (EQA)] for all tests provided by an individual laboratory. If EQAS is not commercially available, alternative approaches should be identified, although clinical laboratories may find it challenging to choose the EQAS that comply with the international standards and approved guidelines. Great competence is therefore required, as well as knowledge of the characteristics and key elements affecting the reliability of an EQAS, and the analytical quality specifications stated in approved documents. Another skill of fundamental importance is the ability to identify an alternative approach when the available EQAS are inadequate or missing. Yet the choice of the right EQA program alone does not guarantee its effectiveness. In fact, the fundamental steps of analysis of the information provided in EQA reports and the ability to identify improvement actions to be undertaken call for the involvement of all laboratory staff playing a role in the specific activity. The aim of this paper was to describe the critical aspects that EQA providers and laboratory professionals should control in order to guarantee effective EQAS management and compliance with ISO 15189 accreditation requirements.

External quality assessment programs in the context of ISO 15189 accreditation

Sciacovelli, Laura;Padoan, Andrea;Plebani, Mario
2018

Abstract

Effective management of clinical laboratories participating in external quality assessment schemes (EQAS) is of fundamental importance in ensuring reliable analytical results. The International Standard ISO 15189:2012 requires participation in interlaboratory comparison [e.g. external quality assessment (EQA)] for all tests provided by an individual laboratory. If EQAS is not commercially available, alternative approaches should be identified, although clinical laboratories may find it challenging to choose the EQAS that comply with the international standards and approved guidelines. Great competence is therefore required, as well as knowledge of the characteristics and key elements affecting the reliability of an EQAS, and the analytical quality specifications stated in approved documents. Another skill of fundamental importance is the ability to identify an alternative approach when the available EQAS are inadequate or missing. Yet the choice of the right EQA program alone does not guarantee its effectiveness. In fact, the fundamental steps of analysis of the information provided in EQA reports and the ability to identify improvement actions to be undertaken call for the involvement of all laboratory staff playing a role in the specific activity. The aim of this paper was to describe the critical aspects that EQA providers and laboratory professionals should control in order to guarantee effective EQAS management and compliance with ISO 15189 accreditation requirements.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3292908
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