Policies and practices in the field of laboratory hematology in Croatia - a current overview and call for improvement

Clin Chem Lab Med. 2021 Dec 1;60(2):271-282. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2021-1027. Print 2022 Jan 27.

Abstract

Objectives: In 2019 The Croatian Working Group for Laboratory Hematology, on behalf of the Croatian Society of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, wanted to explore the background in field of laboratory hematology routine practice among Croatian laboratories in order to develop future strategies for producing national recommendations, if needed.

Methods: During April and May 2019, a comprehensive survey covering all main parts of the total testing process within the field of laboratory hematology among Croatian medical laboratories was conducted. The survey comprised 49 inquiries. Data was collected using Survey Monkey (Palo Alto, CA, USA). All collected data was anonymized.

Results: The response rate was 72%. There is still a substantial number of laboratories that have only three-part differential hematology analyzers (9%). Furthermore, a very high number of laboratories did not perform analyzer verification prior to implementation into routine work (31%). Out of those who have verified their analyzers, a diversity of guidelines and recommendations were used. Nearly 10% of the laboratories do not have a defined policy regarding specimen rejection. The majority of the participants perform internal quality control daily (83%), however, only 51% of respondents evaluate the agreement between different hematology analyzers on daily basis. Although more than 90% of Croatian laboratories have a defined policy regarding specimen rejection, only 61% of respondents continuously monitor quality indicators in routine practice.

Conclusions: The survey revealed substantial differences in all aspects of laboratory hematology practices among Croatian medical laboratories, indicating the need for universal recommendations at the national level.

Keywords: laboratory hematology; policies and practices; recommendations; survey.