Lots of time spend on immunohistochemistry (oops!), lots on Metallo-beta-lactamases (say what?), but precious little on what makes a laboratory competent. Oh sure, a few spaghetti diagrams, and maybe a discussion by the local guy who does accreditation visits ("I can smell a bad lab within 5 minutes of being there"), but the message is still the same; PT is a pain but accreditation requires it, and "clean up this mess.... accreditation is coming!"
Two years ago I pushed to get 4 sessions in during the resident's "academic half-day" (no, I won't go there) and covered a bunch of topics like Standardization, International Standards, Quality Partners, Quality Assessment (PT, Accreditation, and Internal Audits), and the Quality Tool Box (mostly LEAN and Six Sigma) and some general stuff on Laboratory Error. The electronic survey indicated virtually no knowledge prior to the course (<10%), with increase in both knowledge and interest (>75%) after. The group thought the sessions were sufficiently useful that it should be repeated every 2 years.
Well, that was a good start.
So now it is 2 years later, and the message will be the same, but the focus is going to be different.
But this time I am being given 5 sessions (about 5 hours)
I am preparing my slides now. This is my current plan.
1:What is Quality Management, and why do you need to know about it. (History and perspective)
2: Laboratory Error - What is it?; What are the consequences (including Costs of Poor Quality)?; How can you measure and track it?;
3: Accreditation and Proficiency Testing as tools to support Quality Management and reduce Laboratory Error
4: Monitoring Quality - Internal Audits, Quality Indicators, Quality Control,
5: Tools that support the Quality - Lean, Measuring Risk, Investigating error - including root cause.
Will continue to monitor knowledge and interest. Makes for an easy presentation at the International Conference on Resident Education.
PS: Input is welcome. Just hit the tiny "comments" under the post.