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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter / Tate, Jillian R.

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Volume 44, Issue 2 (Feb 2006)


Laboratory network of excellence: enhancing patient safety and service effectiveness

Mario Plebani / Ferruccio Ceriotti / Gianni Messeri / Cosimo Ottomano / Nicola Pansini / Pierangelo Bonini
Published Online: 2006-02-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2006.028


Clinical laboratories have undergone major changes due to technological progress and economic pressure. While costs of laboratory testing continue to be the dominant issue within the healthcare service worldwide, quality, effectiveness and impact on outcomes are also emerging as critical value-added features. Five Italian laboratories are therefore promoting a network of excellence by investigating markers of effectiveness of laboratory services and sharing their experience of using them in clinical practice. In the present study we report preliminary data on indicators of quality in all phases of the so-called total testing process, the key to evaluating all phases of the total testing process, including the appropriateness of test requests and data interpretation. Initial findings in evaluating pre-analytical causes of specimen rejection in three different laboratories and the effects of introducing three laboratory clinical guidelines are reported. These data should stimulate debate in the scientific community and encourage more clinical laboratories to use the same indicators to improve clinical effectiveness and clinical outcomes within the healthcare service.

Keywords: clinical outcomes; errors and risk of error; laboratory network; patient safety quality indicators; total testing process


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About the article

Corresponding author: Prof. Dr. Mario Plebani, Department of Laboratory Medicine, University Hospital of Padova, Via Nicolo Giustiniani 2, 35131 Padova, Italy

Received: 2005-09-08

Accepted: 2005-11-16

Published Online: 2006-02-13

Published in Print: 2006-02-01

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM), ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2006.028.

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