In my last post I commented on our recent Quality Seminar in which there were two papers on a new standard being developed to help laboratories improve their pre-examination procedures.
The problems are well established. The pre-examination phase of laboratory testing is a highly manual, person intensive group of procedures that address collecting, transport, accessioning and storing of patients’ samples. The system is fraught with error, usually accounting for 70-80 percent of reported laboratory errors. If a laboratory wants to improve their overall performance and contribution to medical care they should focus on reducing their absolute numbers of laboratory error.
I suspect that most Canadian accreditation bodies will pick it up as a good accreditation document, and even if they don’t, laboratories will still find it an invaluable document to support their quality system. It is broadly inclusive and rich with guidance. If I have a criticism (and it is pretty minor), it is that some may find it almost too encyclopaedic.
The collector needs the information before collecting (afterwards is too late) and if they do not know the information for this specific laboratory (each laboratory is
different) then check the correct manual or CONTACT the laboratory BEFORE you collect the sample.
Experience tells us that writing memos or newsletters or posters are not sufficiently effective. Holding workshops and seminars doesn’t seem to hold a lot of interest. Non-motivated adults choose to not learn. Positive motivation works better, but sometimes so does negative motivation.