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Background This study aimed to comprehensively evaluate laboratory quality in China and explore factors affecting laboratory errors through analyzing the external quality assessment (EQA) results of quality indicators (QIs). Methods According to model 3 (interpretive) of the proficiency testing scheme, the National Center for Clinical Laboratories of China (CNCCL) developed a questionnaire for 15 QIs. Clinical laboratories from different provinces of China participated in the EQA program of QIs annually and submitted data via an online reporting system named Clinet-EQA. The results of QIs were expressed in percentage and sigma value or minute. Three levels of quality specifications (QSs) were defined based on percentile values. Furthermore, the QIs were analyzed by disciplines, hospital scales and information construction levels of participant laboratories. Results A total of 3450 laboratories nationwide continuously attended the EQA program and submitted complete data from 2015 to 2018. The performance of most QIs has improved year by year. QIs in post-analytical gained the best performance with sigma values that varied from 5.3σ to 6.0σ. The comparison of results among different disciplines showed significant differences for five QIs. More than half of QIs had statistical differences among different hospital scales measured by hospital grades and number of hospital beds. The performance of nine QIs were influenced by information construction levels of participant laboratories. Conclusions The overall laboratory quality in China has improved since the initiation of EQA program for QIs, but the performance of some QIs was still unsatisfactory. Therefore, laboratories should make efforts for continuous quality improvement based on information provided by QSs.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine
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Activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps.
Norms, criteria, standards, and other direct qualitative and quantitative measures used in determining the quality of health care.
A measure of the quality of health care by assessment of unsuccessful results of management and procedures used in combating disease, in individual cases or series.
The concept concerned with all aspects of the quality, accessibility, and appraisal of health care and health care delivery.
The attainment or process of attaining a new level of performance or quality.