Harmonization of quality indicators in laboratory medicine. A preliminary consensus

Clin Chem Lab Med. 2014 Jul;52(7):951-8. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2014-0142.


Quality indicators (QIs) are fundamental tools for enabling users to quantify the quality of all operational processes by comparing it against a defined criterion. QIs data should be collected over time to identify, correct, and continuously monitor defects and improve performance and patient safety by identifying and implementing effective interventions. According to the international standard for medical laboratories accreditation, the laboratory shall establish and periodically review QIs to monitor and evaluate performance throughout critical aspects of pre-, intra-, and post-analytical processes. However, while some interesting programs on indicators in the total testing process have been developed in some countries, there is no consensus for the production of joint recommendations focusing on the adoption of universal QIs and common terminology in the total testing process. A preliminary agreement has been achieved in a Consensus Conference organized in Padua in 2013, after revising the model of quality indicators (MQI) developed by the Working Group on "Laboratory Errors and Patient Safety" of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC). The consensually accepted list of QIs, which takes into consideration both their importance and applicability, should be tested by all potentially interested clinical laboratories to identify further steps in the harmonization project.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques / standards*
  • Clinical Medicine / standards*
  • Humans
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / standards*