Using next generation electronic medical records for laboratory quality monitoring
There is a saying that one can only have two of the following three features when it comes to a service or product: cheap, fast or good. The increasing commoditization of laboratory services often emphasizes on the former two, at the expense of quality.
Clinical laboratories produce results that physicians rely upon to make diagnostic and management decisions. The results generated by the laboratories should meet certain quality specifications to be clinically fit for purpose. At present, this is monitored through a combination of internal quality control and external quality assurance systems. These complimentary quality systems rely upon periodic testing of a sample that has a known value, and looking for significant deviation from the known/target value, when compared to certain control limits.