Toward standardization of quality assessment in laboratory medicine by using the same matrix samples for both internal and external quality assessments

Unsal I., COŞKUN A. , SERTESER M. , Inal T. C. , ÖZPINAR A.

ACCREDITATION AND QUALITY ASSURANCE, vol.15, no.11, pp.621-627, 2010 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00769-010-0694-5
  • Page Numbers: pp.621-627


The main purpose of quality assurance procedures in clinical laboratories is to ensure that test results are appropriate to maintain excellence in the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of disease. However, in current practice, no standardized procedure or frequency for the evaluation of methods exists, particularly in external quality assessment. Furthermore, different quality control materials are typically used for internal and external quality assessment. To overcome these discrepancies, we used samples with the same matrix for both internal and external quality assessments of a group test performed in our laboratory. We then calculated total error using real bias (target value obtained by reference method) and the imprecision of each test and compared our results with the total error allowable, derived from biological variation data. We suggest that the strategy of using the same matrix samples for both internal and external quality assessment is cost-effective, can be readily used by staff, and will facilitate the standardization of quality control in clinical laboratories.