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A Comparison Of Quality Assurance, Quality Control, And Continuous Quality Improvement As Pertaining To The Microbiological Laboratory - Essay Example

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A Comparison of Quality Assurance, Quality Control, and Continuous Quality Improvement as pertaining to the Microbiological laboratory. Standards for Quality assurance are an efficient way of maintaining the effective performance of diagnostic laboratories worldwide…
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A Comparison Of Quality Assurance, Quality Control, And Continuous Quality Improvement As Pertaining To The Microbiological Laboratory

Download file to see previous pages... Often in microbiology, quality goes beyond technical perfection to take into consideration speed, the cost, and the how clinically useful or relevant the test is. Laboratory tests in general can prove exorbitant. As progress in medicine advances, they tend to use up an increasing proportion of the health budget. Quality concerns are becoming increasingly important in microbial, and various other diagnostic laboratories. But the simple term of Quality is no longer sufficient alone, and we must now develop mechanisms to assure customers, the general public and, of course, ourselves of the continuing quality of our service. Moving towards a quality-assured system is challenging, requiring an exacting attention to detail in all areas of a laboratory's working and organization. QUALITY ASSURANCE Quality Assurance is the systematized observation and monitoring to evaluate the various aspects of a project, service or facility including laboratories to maximize the probability that minimum quality standards are being met by multiple stages of the production process. QA cannot absolutely guarantee the production of perfect products. Systematized Microbiological investigations are critical in the treatment, diagnosis, monitoring/surveillance of infectious diseases and policies relevant to the selection and use of antimicrobial drugs. It is, of course, essential that laboratory results and reports are correctly interpreted through standards of both precision and accuracy. Challenges to these necessary objectives include the high cost of reagents and culture media, lack of reasoned, systematic approach to the selection and use of microbiological investigative techniques, and limitations in the procurement of trained technical staff and clinical microbiologists. For Quality Assurance to meet modern expectations of safety, precision, and professionalism, there must be a systemized approach at every aspect of the lab’s operations. Not only should stringent standards be the norm in terms of functional testing modalities; but the procedures must also influence the lab’s decision making process from step one. The World Health Organization provides Quality Assurance Guidelines for Specimen Collection and transportation; standards for personnel, the laboratory procedural manual, QC records and documentation, a referral process for specimens, patient reports where applicable, equipment standards, media standards, and external quality assessments. QA is more of a higher-level process-control operating at all stages; in laboratories of many disciplines. What is the process used to create the functional agents; the deliverables, or the laboratory results? This is Quality Assurance. It is external to the process itself in many cases. Other examples of Quality Assurance: Process Checklists Project Audits Methodology Standards Development Plans for integration of improvements Control of procedural errors in the laboratory Regular schedule of testing for equipment and culture media Documentation of media sources including lot numbers Documentation of sterilization procedures and pH measurements Documentation of preparation and expiration dates Documentation of positive and negative control testing Procedures for the inspection of damaged, commercial media or equipment Procedures and documentation for reagent storage Proper records and documentation of previous testing articles Results of the QC process Procedures for the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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