Approach to pre-analytical errors in a public health laboratory
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Background and objective: We aimed to investigate the effect of "training about the pre-analytical phase" and "technological arrangements in laboratory information systems (LISs) and tube barcoding system", on decreasing PEs. Materials and methods: PEs in 2013 and 2014 were obtained from the LIS retrospectively in order to evaluate the effect of improvements. Ten quality indicators (QIs) described for pre-analytical phase were calculated. We compared QIs of the "improved year" with the past year. Four quality specification criteria were defined as "unacceptable", "minimum", "desirable" and "optimum" for each quality indicator. Results: There was a reduction in all types of PEs related to the improvement strategies. When QIs were considered as quality specifications (QSs), QI-14 (number of samples damaged in transport) and QI-16 (samples improperly stored) were "unacceptable", QI-8 (samples lost-not received) and QI-12 (samples with insufficient sample volume) were "minimum" and QI-9 (samples collected in inappropriate container) was "desirable" in 2013; QI-10a, 10b (samples hemolyzed), 11a (samples clotted) and 13 (samples with inadequate sample-anticoagulant) were all "optimum" in 2 years. Conclusion: It was shown that continuous education on pre-analytical phase and improvements of the technological infrastructures are the main factors that will enable the control of this phase.