Clinical Laboratory Quality Indicators and harmonization across the GTA hospitals

Quality indicators allow laboratories to quantify the quality of laboratory processes, which is fundamental to patient safety. Harmonization of quality indicators is necessary to ensure that all clinical laboratories define, report and benchmark according to defined quality standards.

We aim to harmonize quality indicators across hospital-based clinical laboratories in the GTA that identify areas for quality improvement and enable sharing of best practices.

We have:

  • Surveyed hospital-based clinical laboratories across the GTA (Core Lab Quality Indicators survey and Anatomic Pathology Indicators survey)
  • Promoted the IFCC Model of Quality Indicators as a framework
  • Developed a list of proposed harmonized indicators

View an update from the project team

We held a workshop on May 5, 2021, covering an update and discussion on the project, presented by Dr. Paul Yip and Dr. Corwyn Rowsell.

The Core Lab Quality Indicator survey

Fifteen hospitals responded to our Core Lab Quality Indicator survey. The data will be published and used to prepare an evidence-based guideline for GTA-wide implementation after consultation.

A similar survey has been developed for Anatomic Pathology and circulated to hospitals.

Other working groups of interest

The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists (CSCC) Special Interest Group on Quality Improvement through Quality Indicators Monitoring aims to improve our laboratory processes producing national benchmarks, sharing our experiences and promoting standardization efforts.

This initiative is based on the collaboration of the CSCC and the Program of Quality Indicators Comparison of the Quebec Society of Clinical Biology (SQBC). With the Working Group on Laboratory Errors and Patient Safety of the IFCC as a collaborator, activities will be aligned with the international standardization effort in the QI field. 

The Education and Management Division (EMD) of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) has established a Working Group on “Laboratory errors and patient safety”.

Current available guidelines

QMS12 Developing and Using Quality Indicators for Laboratory Improvement, 2nd Edition

QMS12 shows you a step-by-step way to develop quality indicators to measure processes, so your lab can provide quality testing.

Relevant publications for further information

Harmonization of quality indicators in Laboratory Medicine. A preliminary consensus. Plebani M, et al. Clin Chem Lab Med 2014;52(7)951-8. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2014-0142. PMID: 24622792.

Harmonization of pre-analytical quality indicators. Plebani M, et al. Biochem Med. 2014;24(1):105-13. doi: 10.11613/BM.2014.012. PMID: 24627719.

Towards harmonization of quality indicators in Laboratory Medicine. Plebani M, et al. Clin Chem Lab Med 2013;51(1):187-95. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2012-0582. PMID: 23023884.

Quality indicators for the total testing process. Plebani, et al. Clin Chem Lab Med 2017;37(1):187-205. doi: 10.1016/j.cll.2016.09.015. PMID: 28153366.

Defining a roadmap for harmonizing quality indicators in Laboratory Medicine: a consensus statement on behalf of the IFCC Working Group "Laboratory Error and Patient Safety" and EFLM Task and Finish Group "Performance specifications for the extra-analytical phases". Sciacovelli L, et al. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2017;55(10):1478-1488. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2017-0412. PMID: 28688224.

Latest news

Sep 23, 2021
A team at the University of Toronto has just published the first study of Ontario genetics laboratories' practice of reporting critical values to help define standards for the industry.

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