Current status of verification practices in clinical biochemistry in Spain


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Abstract

Background:Verification uses logical algorithms to detect potential errors before laboratory results are released to the clinician. Even though verification is one of the main processes in all laboratories, there is a lack of standardization mainly in the algorithms used and the criteria and verification limits applied. A survey in clinical laboratories in Spain was conducted in order to assess the verification process, particularly the use of autoverification.Methods:Questionnaires were sent to the laboratories involved in the External Quality Assurance Program organized by the Spanish Society of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Pathology. Seven common biochemical parameters were included (glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, creatinine, potassium, calcium, and alanine aminotransferase).Results:Completed questionnaires were received from 85 laboratories. Nearly all the laboratories reported using the following seven verification criteria: internal quality control, instrument warnings, sample deterioration, reference limits, clinical data, concordance between parameters, and verification of results. The use of all verification criteria varied according to the type of verification (automatic, technical, or medical). Verification limits for these parameters are similar to biological reference ranges. Delta Check was used in 24% of laboratories. Most laboratories (64%) reported using autoverification systems. Autoverification use was related to laboratory size, ownership, and type of laboratory information system, but amount of use (percentage of test autoverified) was not related to laboratory size.Conclusions:A total of 36% of Spanish laboratories do not use autoverification, despite the general implementation of laboratory information systems, most of them, with autoverification ability. Criteria and rules for seven routine biochemical tests were obtained.

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