rows of test tubes

Clinical Laboratory Services

Clinical laboratories play a vital role in patient diagnosis and care.

There are multiple clinical laboratories based in hospital sites across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) that service the millions of residents based here. Their services also extend to national and international clinicians, researchers, diagnostic companies, and other industries.

Although standards and protocols in each laboratory are very high, they can be inconsistent between laboratories. Harmonization of clinical laboratories’ quality systems across the region can reduce this variation, which is fundamental to ensuring improved patient safety and care. Appropriate laboratory utilization is also important to improve patient care and safety, as well as to reduce unnecessary testing and healthcare costs.

The Quality Council, based in the Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology (LMP), in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, seeks to bring together the hospital-based laboratory community across the GTA to compare, share, and harmonize standards and approaches to testing.

Through a number of initiatives, we aim to publish guideline documents, here, and in peer-reviewed journals.

In the next phase, we will focus on the integration of quality with clinical practice, education, continuing professional development (CPD), and research.

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Latest guidelines and resources

Access recommendations published by the Quality Council
A screenshot of guideline documents

Current Quality Council projects

Clinical Laboratory Quality Indicators and harmonization across the GTA hospitals

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

Improving the diagnosis and management of iron deficiency and anemia

We aim to change current ferritin clinical decision limits for iron deficiency in order to increase ferritin testing rates, prompt treatment of iron deficiency, decrease risk of anemia and improve quality of life among affected individuals.

Harmonization of critical values across the GTA hospitals

This project aids the harmonization of critical values used by hospitals and their associated clinical laboratories across the GTA to ensure consistency in the definition and identification of 'critical state' patients.

Reference Interval harmonization across the GTA

This project aims to assess the current state of reference interval variation for key chemistry and immunoassays in the Greater Toronto Area and work to facilitate harmonization.

We list the main hospital-based clinical laboratories in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in Ontario, Canada.

Find out who the Quality Council is.

The LMP Office of Continuing Professional Development runs regular CPD events, including those on quality and patient safety.