Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

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

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 47, Issue 10


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


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.

Export Citation

©2009 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Elisabet González Lao, Ángel Salas García, Marta Buxeda Figuerola, Ester Moreno, and Ariadna Hernández Paraire
Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2017, Volume 05, Number 03, Page 243
Emma Hooijberg, Ernst Leidinger, and Kathleen P. Freeman
Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, 2012, Volume 24, Number 3, Page 458
Tianyi Xia, Shouhong Gao, Chang Shu, Yan Wen, Yunlei Yun, Xia Tao, Wansheng Chen, and Feng Zhang
Clinical Biochemistry, 2016, Volume 49, Number 18, Page 1372
Richard D. Press, Garrett Eickelberg, Thomas J. McDonald, Jaimie Halley, Thomas Long, Laura J. Tafe, and Karen E. Weck
Genetics in Medicine, 2016, Volume 18, Number 12, Page 1206
Jens E.T. Andersen, Sidsel-Marie Glasdam, Daniel Bo Larsen, and Nicolaas Molenaar
Chemical Engineering Communications, 2016, Volume 203, Number 12, Page 1582
Sharon Saw, Tze Ping Loh, Sophia Bee Leng Ang, James W. L. Yip, and Sunil Kumar Sethi
American Journal of Clinical Pathology, 2011, Volume 136, Number 1, Page 30
Mira Barak and Ram Jaschek
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM), 2014, Volume 52, Number 2
Ilya Kuselman, Francesca Pennecchi, Aleš Fajgelj, and Yury Karpov
Accreditation and Quality Assurance, 2013, Volume 18, Number 1, Page 3
Rainer Lehmann
Bioanalysis, 2015, Volume 7, Number 8, Page 927
F. Raposo, R. Borja, J.A. Cacho, J. Mumme, K. Orupõld, S. Esteves, J. Noguerol-Arias, S. Picard, A. Nielfa, P. Scherer, I. Wierinck, E. Aymerich, C. Cavinato, D.C. Rodriguez, N. García-Mancha, P.N.T. Lens, and V. Fernández-Cegrí
TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 2013, Volume 51, Page 127
Karin Bölenius, Christine Brulin, Kjell Grankvist, Marie Lindkvist, and Johan Söderberg
BMC Research Notes, 2012, Volume 5, Number 1, Page 39
Weihua Tang, Zhiyuan Hu, Hind Muallem, and Margaret L. Gulley
The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, 2012, Volume 14, Number 1, Page 1
S. Ashakiran, M.E. Sumati, and N. Krishna Murthy
Clinical Biochemistry, 2011, Volume 44, Number 10-11, Page 944

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in