What are the objective measures that one can monitor as an indicator for success or failure for introduction of Quality activities in medical laboratories?
Not success in accreditation or proficiency testing scores. They are too readily manipulated (see M.A. Noble. 2007. Does External Evaluation of Laboratories Improve Patient Safety? Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. Clin Chem Lab Med. 45(6):753-756).
And in Canada, financial stability or instability are completely inappropriate since 99 percent (or more) of resources come from the government purse.
So we have a dilemma. For good studies we need measurable and interpretable and monitorable outcomes on both a micro- and macro- basis. We do this on a micro- scale all the time (call that Quality Indicators). But to move from interesting to convincing and compelling, we will need to define our macro- outcomes as well.
For Quality to create a lasting imprint in medical laboratories, we are going to have to speak the language of laboratory personnel, pathologists and technologists. We will need the language of science and experimentation. outcome and conclusion.
Any and all ideas are most certainly welcome.
PS: Absence of strong interpretable measures makes grant funding difficult, maybe impossible. I have learned this the hard way.