Medical errors can be traditionally clustered into 4 categories, which include errors of diagnosis, errors of treatment, errors of prevention, and an 'other miscellaneous' category. Owing to the volume and complexity of testing, and considering that laboratory error is defined as any defect from ordering tests to reporting results and appropriately interpreting and reacting on these, it is not surprising that mistakes in the total testing process occur with frequency, have connections to all four types of medical errors and represent a serious hazard for patient health. Throughout the laboratory diagnostics, preanalytical problems prevail. Moreover, the positive trends towards reduction of laboratory errors over the past decade, particularly those in the analytical phase, has little involved the preanalytical phase, which actually represents the most critical area to target. In particular, the high frequency of errors still attributable to processes external to the laboratory requires additional efforts for the governance of this mistreated phase of the total testing process, so that we can finally find the right path to progress from the dark to the bright side of the moon. As for any other type of medical errors, the most effective path to improvement is the implementation of a total quality management system, encompassing a multifaceted strategy for process and risk analysis, based on error prevention, detection, and management.

Governance of preanalytical variability: travelling the right path to the bright side of the moon?

LIPPI, Giuseppe
2009

Abstract

Medical errors can be traditionally clustered into 4 categories, which include errors of diagnosis, errors of treatment, errors of prevention, and an 'other miscellaneous' category. Owing to the volume and complexity of testing, and considering that laboratory error is defined as any defect from ordering tests to reporting results and appropriately interpreting and reacting on these, it is not surprising that mistakes in the total testing process occur with frequency, have connections to all four types of medical errors and represent a serious hazard for patient health. Throughout the laboratory diagnostics, preanalytical problems prevail. Moreover, the positive trends towards reduction of laboratory errors over the past decade, particularly those in the analytical phase, has little involved the preanalytical phase, which actually represents the most critical area to target. In particular, the high frequency of errors still attributable to processes external to the laboratory requires additional efforts for the governance of this mistreated phase of the total testing process, so that we can finally find the right path to progress from the dark to the bright side of the moon. As for any other type of medical errors, the most effective path to improvement is the implementation of a total quality management system, encompassing a multifaceted strategy for process and risk analysis, based on error prevention, detection, and management.
errors; laboratory; diagnosis.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/473451
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 12
  • Scopus 52
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 52
social impact