Sample preparation - Inpeco
The critical steps where mistakes occur
The initial procedures performed outside the clinical laboratory are the most error-prone; here, many challenges are putting at risk the overall quality of the collection, starting from the outreach centers (with possible uneven phlebotomy and professionals’ competences) and the diverse myriad of collection materials and process recommendations. According to literature, 65% of Clinical lab errors happen in this phase*.
The key points here include selection of blood collection tubes by types and colors, correct labelling, order of draw, tracking patient pre-collection conditions (e.g. fasting). Also, complex testing (e.g. glucose curves) require extra resources.
Moreover, centers are becoming more and more sensitive towards Quality & Compliance standards, that must be met in order to gain and maintain Certifications.
*Carraro, Plebani - Errors in a stat laboratory: types and frequencies 10 years later. Clin Chem. 2007 Jul