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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Blood gas and patient safety: considerations based on experience developed in accordance with the Risk Management perspective
It is the responsibility of health organizations to guarantee a high level of healthcare by using adequate methodologies and instruments, creating secure conditions for treatment, and preventing adverse events due to human or system errors. It is necessary to introduce Risk Management programs, and in particular to promote Clinical Risk Management, one of the constituent elements of Clinical Governance, to assure the delivery of high-quality performance and services. In the point-of-care testing (POCT) context, using an analysis of our experiences, we discuss the entire analytical process, including acquisition and usage, while focusing on blood gas analyzers. Our experience confirms that within a Clinical Governance framework, it is necessary to apply, even when choosing instruments, a systematic vision that is not limited to analytical validation, but also includes an in-depth analysis of the impact in a specific context. Assessment of the correlated risks, independent of the analytical methodology used, is indispensable in a clinical environment to identify the most suitable approach for such risks. A study of the latent factors can be proactively performed to identify (and stimulate) what the pre-organizational environment (producer companies) can offer in terms of product orientation to effectively reduce correlated risk during use. Among the different options for possible treatment of risk, one involves the transfer of the assumption of risk to third parties (e.g., maintenance and quality controls). Transferring the responsibility for control operations to the operator of the instrument, which follows the quality controls with total autonomy, is equivalent to transferring the correlated risk for the clinician (in the POCT case) to the producer, who becomes the guarantor. In practice this is equivalent to a specific assurance stipulation with zero cost.
Clin Chem Lab Med 2007;45:774–80.
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