Laboratory data influence 70% of medical diagnoses. This fact indicates that the laboratory is a major aid to the clinicians who have requested the tests. Furthermore, it means that the laboratory must try to reach the goal of zero defects.
The testing process has been divided into three major parts (pre-, intra- and post-analytical), each with a few aspects that can be identified and, in many cases, quantified. Thus, the testing process lends itself to designing a systematic approach to error detection and correction, hopefully before data are reported. While some schemes include "choosing the test" as part of the pre-analytical phase, this article will not include it.
Preventing Pre-analytical Errors
Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine
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