Laboratory medicine quality indicators: a review of the literature

Am J Clin Pathol. 2009 Mar;131(3):418-31. doi: 10.1309/AJCPJF8JI4ZLDQUE.


We summarize information on quality indicators related to laboratory testing from published literature and Internet sources to assess current gaps with respect to stages of the laboratory testing process, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) health care domains, and quality measure evaluation criteria. Our search strategy used various general and specific terms for clinical conditions and laboratory procedures. References related to a potential quality indicator associated with laboratory testing and an IOM health care domain were included. With the exception of disease- and condition-related indicators originating from clinical guidelines, the laboratory medicine quality indicators reviewed did not satisfy minimum standard evaluation criteria for quality or performance measures (ie, importance, scientific acceptability, and feasibility) and demonstrated a need across the total laboratory testing process for consistently specified, useful, and evidence-based, laboratory-related quality and performance measures that are important to health outcomes and meaningful to health care stakeholders for which laboratories can be held accountable.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Laboratories / standards*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care*
  • Quality of Health Care*