CLSI releases a new quality management report

May 27, 2014

The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) has published a new report—Understanding the Cost of Quality in the Laboratory (QMS20-R)—which focuses on understanding and managing the different types of quality costs that affect the laboratory. QMS20-R presents an initial approach laboratories can take to identify quality costs and remove unnecessary expense from laboratory processes.

CLSI representatives make the point that laboratories are cognizant of the quality of examination results and laboratory services they provide, yet many non-management laboratory staff members are unaware of the quality of the laboratory's financial status, and believe that staying within budget is sufficient. This belief is problematic because every time work is redone, the cost of laboratory services—therefore, the cost of quality—increases. This report was created to help laboratories ensure they are producing quality results at a reasonable cost.

“This report reflects important information that has been published in business and industry literature for several years, but takes the laboratory approach to that information,” notes QMS20-R Chairholder Lucia M. Berte, MT(ASCP)SBB, DLM; CQA(ASQ)CMQ/OE. “The cost of quality is important not only in the broad picture of healthcare, but also in the laboratory environment now, when costs are being squeezed and laboratories are always being asked to do more with less.”

The report provides a comprehensive overview of the different types of quality costs and how these costs can both support and detract from laboratory quality. It introduces the types of quality costs in laboratory expenditures, including prevention, appraisal, and internal and external failure. The document is applicable to medical laboratories of any size, complexity, or specialty. Read sample pages.

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