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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 2017: 3.556

CiteScore 2017: 2.34

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 1.114
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.188

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Volume 55, Issue 8


Traceability in laboratory medicine: a global driver for accurate results for patient care

Graham H. Beastall / Nannette Brouwer / Silvia Quiroga / Gary L. Myers /
Published Online: 2017-04-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2017-0060


Laboratory medicine results influence a high percentage of all clinical decisions. Globalization requires that laboratory medicine results should be transferable between methods in the interests of patient safety. International collaboration is necessary to deliver this requirement. That collaboration should be based on traceability in laboratory medicine and the adoption of higher order international commutable reference materials and measurement procedures. Application of the metrological traceability chain facilitates a universal approach. The measurement of serum cholesterol and blood HbA1c serve as examples of the process of method standardization where an impact on clinical outcomes is demonstrable. The measurement of plasma parathyroid hormone and blood HbA2 serve as examples where the current between-method variability is compromising patient management and method standardization and/or harmonization is required. Challenges to the widespread adoption of traceability in laboratory medicine include the availability of reference materials and methods, geographical differences, the use of variable units, complex analytes and limited global coordination. The global collaboration requires the involvement of several different stakeholder groups ranging from international experts to laboratory medicine specialists in routine clinical laboratories. A coordinated action plan is presented with actions attributable to each of these stakeholder groups.

Keywords: action plan; commutability; standardization; traceability


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About the article

Received: 2017-01-20

Accepted: 2017-03-15

Published Online: 2017-04-13

Published in Print: 2017-07-26

Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

Research funding: None declared.

Employment or leadership: None declared.

Honorarium: None declared.

Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM), Volume 55, Issue 8, Pages 1100–1108, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2017-0060.

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