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Inside the Lab Laboratory management

Harmonization - an important tool to improve patient safety in laboratory medicine

sponsored by Technopath

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10 December 2021 / 1pm CET

Despite monumental advances in quality improvement over the past few decades, clinical laboratories are still under increasing pressure to achieve efficiency, timeliness, safety, effectiveness and patient-centered services. Laboratory tests are required for fulfilling the healthcare needs of individual patients and populations; they are critical to predict susceptibility to and prevent disease, to achieve early diagnosis and effective monitoring, and to determine prognosis and personalize treatment to get the best outcomes. However, many laboratory test results are still highly variable, poorly standardized and harmonized. But analytical variability is the tip of the iceberg, as clinicians and patients require that laboratory tests performed by different laboratories at different times on the same patient can be compared and consistently evaluated. This, in turn, requires not only the comparability of analytical results but also of the ultimate laboratory information; therefore, all other aspects of the total testing process (TTP), such as terminology, sample and specimen quality, units, reference ranges and decision limits, report formats and criteria for interpretation should be harmonized. If the final goal is that patient treatment based on laboratory information is accurate, timely and safe, a global picture of the harmonization process is required which takes into consideration both analytical and extra-analytical steps of the testing process. Aim of this lecture is to provide the current state-of-the art of harmonization in laboratory medicine and further steps to improve better comparability of the laboratory information and better patient safety.

Who should attend and why?

  • Clinical, hospital, and reference laboratory stakeholders.
  • Laboratory directors, laboratory managers, quality managers, information technology managers.
  • Clinical laboratory scientists and technicians.
  • Clinical diagnostics platform, equipment, and solutions providers, manufacturers, and suppliers.

Learning objectives

  • Concepts of harmonisation in the clinical laboratory
  • Impact of harmonisation on laboratory quality
  • Contributing factors to harmonisation in the clinical laboratory

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