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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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IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 3.432

CiteScore 2016: 2.21

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Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 1.112

Online
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1437-4331
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Volume 48, Issue 4 (Apr 2010)

Issues

Assessment of critical values policies in Italian institutions: comparison with the US situation

Elisa Piva / Laura Sciacovelli
  • Department of Laboratory Medicine, University-Hospital of Padua, Padua, Italy
  • Center of Biomedical Research, Castelfranco Veneto, Treviso, Italy
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Michael Laposata / Mario Plebani
  • Department of Laboratory Medicine, University-Hospital of Padua, Padua, Italy
  • Center of Biomedical Research, Castelfranco Veneto, Treviso, Italy
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2010-02-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2010.096

Abstract

Background: Critical value reporting is considered an essential tool to ensure the quality of medical laboratory services. Important issues include defining cut-off values, assessing responsibility for communication and adopting information technology solutions to improve notification. Here, we report the state of critical value reporting in a large cohort of Italian laboratories and comparison with Q-Probes surveys from the College of American Pathologists as representatives of the US situation.

Methods: To compare critical value policies and procedures, formulation of critical values list with critical values limits and monitoring tools, a web-based questionnaire was formulated for 389 institutions participating in the External Quality Assessment Schemes of Veneto Region, in Italy.

Results: A total of 90 clinical laboratories submitted data. Accredited laboratories represented 82.2% of participants, but written procedures for reporting were indicated by 70.5% of participants. Relevant differences between US and Italian policies have been observed, particularly regarding who provides the notification and on the formulation of the cut-off threshold for critical values.

Conclusions: Accreditation according to international standards can decrease differences regarding the management of critical values across laboratories of different countries. However, the issues concerning critical limits should be debated and a consensus critical values list should be considered. Automated systems could offer improvements regarding some issues, such as who makes the notification, reducing the time spent in notification of critical values. Surveys for comparing and improving existing policies regarding critical values should be promoted at an international level.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2010;48:461–8.

Keywords: automated notification; critical values; patient safety; policies and procedures; result communication

About the article

Corresponding author: Prof. Mario Plebani, Dipartimento Medicina di Laboratorio, Azienda Ospedaliera-Università di Padova, Via Nicolò Giustiniani 2, 35128 Padova, Italy Fax: +39-049-663240,


Received: 2009-11-17

Accepted: 2009-11-24

Published Online: 2010-02-04

Published in Print: 2010-04-01


Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2010.096.

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©2010 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York. Copyright Clearance Center

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