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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 / Greaves, Ronda / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter


IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 3.638

CiteScore 2018: 2.44

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 1.191
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.205

Online
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1437-4331
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Volume 47, Issue 10

Issues

Error tracking in a clinical biochemistry laboratory

Pal Bela Szecsi
  • Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Copenhagen, Roskilde Hospital, Roskilde, Denmark
  • Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Copenhagen, Gentofte Hospital, Hellerup, Denmark
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Lars Ødum
  • Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Copenhagen, Roskilde Hospital, Roskilde, Denmark
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2009-08-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2009.272

Abstract

Background: We report our results for the systematic recording of all errors in a standard clinical laboratory over a 1-year period.

Methods: Recording was performed using a commercial database program. All individuals in the laboratory were allowed to report errors. The testing processes were classified according to function, and errors were classified as pre-analytical, analytical, post-analytical, or service-related, and then further divided into descriptive subgroups. Samples were taken from hospital wards (38.6%), outpatient clinics (25.7%), general practitioners (29.4%), and other hospitals.

Results: A total of 1189 errors were reported in 1151 reports during the first year, corresponding to an error rate of 1 error for every 142 patients, or 1 per 1223 tests. The majority of events were due to human errors (82.6%), and only a few (4.3%) were the result of technical errors. Most of the errors (81%) were pre-analytical. Of the remainder, 10% were analytical, 8% were post-analytical, and 1% was service-related. Nearly half of the errors (n=550) occurred with samples received from general practitioners or clinical hospital wards. Identification errors were relatively common when non-technicians collected blood samples.

Conclusions: Each clinical laboratory should record errors in a structured manner. A relation database is a useful tool for the recording and extraction of data, as the database can be structured to reflect the workflow at each individual laboratory.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2009;47:1253–7.

Keywords: diagnostic errors; medical errors; safety management

About the article

Corresponding author: Pal B. Szecsi, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Copenhagen, Gentofte Hospital, Niels Andersens Vej 65, 2900 Hellerup, Denmark Phone: +45 3977 7494, Fax: +45 3977 7616,


Received: 2009-04-13

Accepted: 2009-06-28

Published Online: 2009-08-07

Published in Print: 2009-10-01


Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Volume 47, Issue 10, Pages 1253–1257, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2009.272.

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