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Background This study aimed to evaluate the ability of comment providers who were responsible for interpreting results in clinical laboratories in China and to improve the quality of interpretative comments. Methods Basic information and interpretative comments for five cases of 1912 routine chemistry External Quality Assessment (EQA) participant laboratories were collected by web-based EQA system in May 2018. EQA organizers assigned scores to each key phrase of comments based on predetermined marking scale and calculated total scores for each participant's answer. Final scores and ranking were calculated according to scores of cases. Finally, we comprehensively analyzed the type of hospital and the professional title of participants. Results In total, 772 clinical laboratories, 1472 participants, from different Chinese provinces submitted interpretative comments. Median scores, interquartile ranges and score ranges of the five cases were 13 (11-15, 1-20), 13 (10-16, 0-20), 15 (12-17, 0-21), 7 (5-9, -2 to 14) and 12 (10-13, -2 to 18). The final scores and ranking of participants that came from tertiary hospitals were higher than those from secondary and other hospitals; however, there were no significant differences (0.774). When grouped by professional title, we found that although no significant variability existed among senior, intermediate, junior and others (0.699), it existed between laboratory physicians and technicians, as the median final scores of the former were higher than the latter. Conclusions Practice and quality of interpretative comments are indeed different among different laboratories and participants in China. Laboratories should train and assess the interpretative ability of personnel. EQA organizers should also improve the scoring method and establish peer assessors team through this survey.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine
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