Clinical Governance and evidence-based laboratory medicine

Clin Chem Lab Med. 2006;44(6):724-32. doi: 10.1515/CCLM.2006.130.


Background: Clinical Governance is described as "a framework through which the NHS organisations are accountable to continue to improve the quality of the service and safeguarding high standards of care by creating an environment in which excellence in clinical care would flourish"; it is aimed to ensure continuous improvement in the overall standard of clinical care, ensuring that clinical decisions are based on the most up-to-date evidence in terms of effectiveness.

Methods: If Clinical Governance is a framework through which NHS organisations are accountable to continuously improve the quality of their services and safeguarding high standards of care, Clinical Effectiveness is a vital part of Clinical Governance. Clinical Effectiveness is a term that refers to measuring and monitoring the quality of care, and comprises various activities, including: Evidence-Based Practice, Research and Development, Clinical Audit, Clinical Guidelines, Integrated Care Pathways, and Total Quality Management.

Results: The application of evidence-based medicine (EBM) in laboratory medicine or evidence-based laboratory medicine (EBLM) aims to advance clinical diagnosis by researching and spreading new knowledge, combining methods from clinical epidemiology, statistics and social science with the traditional pathophysiological molecular approach. EBLM, by evaluating the role of diagnostic investigations in the clinical decision-making process, can help in translating the results of good quality research into everyday practice.

Conclusions: If Clinical Governance is a framework through which organisations are accountable to improve the quality of care, health professionals should identify high quality standards, and systematically and rigorously monitor against them the process and outcomes that represent the diagnostic process. Within such a policy framework, practice guidelines are expected to play a major role, providing the basis to access the quality of care and guidance where clinical practice is found not in line with professional standards.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques / standards*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / organization & administration*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards
  • Italy
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Total Quality Management*