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Title: Application of indicators for quality improvement in the coagulation laboratory
Authors: N. Opartkiattikul
W. Wongtiraporn
P. Tientadakul
B. Rungpitarungsi
Mahidol University
Keywords: Medicine
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2002
Citation: Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health. Vol.33, No.SUPPL.2 (2002), 131-135
Abstract: Indicators are tools that measure work performance and serve as a guide to improve the quality of laboratories. Seven Indicators for quality improvement have been established in our coagulation laboratory. They are :- 1). percentage of pre-analytical problems, 2). personnel competency scores, 3). results of external quality assessment, 4). % coefficient of variation (CV) of control materials, 5). unit cost, 6). percentage of reports within determined time, and 7). percentage of customers who were satisfied. The percentage of preanalytical error gradually decreased from 1.8% in April 2001 to 0.8% in June 2001 as a result of co-operation between the coagulation laboratory and the wards. Since there is no system to check personnel competency at a national level in Thailand, we set up a program for testing personnel competency in our department by asking every technician to take a written and practical laboratory examination. The scores achieved by our personnel ranged from 40 to 90 %. For those who achieved scores of lower than 70%, we limited their responsibilities and organized a training program for them. In order to check our laboratory's accuracy, we are enrolled in the WHO International External Quality Assessment Scheme (IEQAS) in Blood Coagulation and have been since 1987. The survey results indicated that most of our laboratory tests were within consensus including our homemade ELISA tests for protein C, protein S and vWF antigen. The percent CVs of control materials used for the internal daily control for every test were analyzed. They ranged from 2.3 for normal APTT to 11.4 for the low level of free protein S in plasma. The unit cost for each test was analyzed to determine the cost-effectiveness of the laboratory. We set the goal for the turn around time for emergency coagulation tests to be within an hour and the percentage of reports within this time was 91.6% in August 2001. The last indicator was the percentage of satisfied customers, which gave an indication of the quality of all Out Patient Department (OPD) services performed by our department. We sent 400 questionnaires to doctors, nurses and patients in OPD asking their opinion of both the technical services and the behavior of our technicians. The percentage satisfaction of our customers concerning services offered to OPD was lower than 50%. We plan to improve the last 2 indicators by expanding the space of the OPD/emergency laboratory and reorganizing the service system. All indicators mentioned above have helped to improve the quality of our laboratory greatly.
ISSN: 01251562
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2001-2005

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