European survey on preanalytical sample handling – Part 1: How do European laboratories monitor the preanalytical phase? On behalf of the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM) Working Group for the Preanalytical Phase (WG-PRE)
von Meyer, Alexander
van Dongen–Lases, Edmee
Guimaraes, Joao Tiago
Kristensen, Gunn B.
de la Salle, Barbara
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Introduction: Compared to other activities of the testing process, the preanalytical phase is plagued by a lower degree of standardization, which makes it more vulnerable to errors. With the aim of providing guidelines and recommendations, the EFLM WG-PRE issued a survey across European medical laboratories, to gather information on local preanalytical practices. This is part one of two coherent articles, which covers all practices on monitoring preanalytical quality except haemolysis, icterus and lipemia (HIL). Materials and methods: An online survey, containing 39 questions dealing with a broad spectrum of preanalytical issues, was disseminated to EFLM member countries. The survey included questions on willingness of laboratories to engage in preanalytical issues. Results: Overall, 1405 valid responses were received from 37 countries. 1265 (94%) responders declared to monitor preanalytical errors. Assessment, documentation and further use of this information varied widely among respondents and partially among countries. Many responders were interested in a preanalytical online platform, holding information on various aspects of the preanalytical phase (N = 1177; 87%), in a guideline for measurement and evaluation of preanalytical variables (N = 1235; 92%), and in preanalytical e-learning programs or webinars (N = 1125; 84%). Fewer responders were interested in, or already participating in, preanalytical EQA programs (N = 951; 71%). Conclusion: Although substantial heterogeneity was found across European laboratories on preanalytical phase monitoring, the interest in preanalytical issues was high. A large majority of participants indicated an interest in new guidelines regarding preanalytical variables and learning activities. This important data will be used by the WG-PRE for providing recommendations on the most critical issues.
Is part ofBiochemia Medica, 2019, vol. 29, núm. 2
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