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HOME LOCAL MIDEAST ASIA WORLD BUSINESS SPORT OPINION WRITERS
‘Lab errors are negligible, but be cautious’
BY A STAFF REPORTER March 24, 2018
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ABU DHABI: Laboratory automation has increased productivity and efficiency of clinical laboratories. However, this high-throughput environment puts laboratories at risk when errors occur because many patient results may be impacted if errors are not detected promptly. Healthcare experts, gathered in Abu Dhabi to attend the first AACC Middle East Conference, organised by Al Borg Medical Laboratories, stressed on the need of better communication between physicians and lab experts and attention for quality control to achieve this.

Dr Joe M El-Khoury, Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Co-Director, Clinical Chemistry Laboratory, Yale University, USA, stressed on the need of maintaining quality management as it leaves lasting impact on clinical decision making.

“Major advancements in automation and analytical instrumentation have helped reduce laboratory-associated errors over the last decade, but with pre-analytical errors currently accounting for up to 75 per cent of all mistakes, it represents the leading cause of error in laboratory medicine and lab professionals must keep expanding their focus to what is happening outside of the lab,” he said.

He said that Quality Indicators (QIs) measure how well the laboratory meets the needs and requirements of users and the quality of all operational processes, including the pre-analytical phases of testing. Adopting QIs to track and improve performance is essential: what a laboratory does not measure, it cannot improve.

Dr Lamia Mansour, Professor of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt, stressed on the need of increased communication between physicians and lab experts. She said that clinical laboratories are an integral part of the healthcare system. They play a crucial role in patient management and are heavily relied upon in clinical decision making.

“Laboratory test results usually include a reference interval or a threshold cutoff based on clinical guidelines. The interpretation of such results is, however, no easy task, and poses a challenge both to physicians and laboratory professionals. For proper interpretation of lab test results, valuable knowledge ‘owned’ by the laboratory, need to be communicated to physicians,” she said.

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